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Full text of "The history of the American Indians; particularly those nations adjoining to the Missisippi [!] East and West Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, and Virginia: containing an account of their origin, language, manners, religious and civil customs, laws, form of government, punishments, conduct in war and domestic life, their habits, diet, agriculture, manufactures, diseases and method of cure... With observations on former historians, the conduct of our colony governors, superintendents, missionaries, & c. Also an appendix, containing a description of the Floridas, and the Missisippi [!] lands, with their productions--the benefits of colonizing Georgiana, and civilizing the Indians--and the way to make all the colonies more valuable to the mother country.."

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Thofe NATIONS adjoining to the M I S S I S I P P I, EAST AND 




FACTURIS, DISEASES and METHOD of CURE, and other Particulars, fuffi- 
cient to render it 



OBSERVATIONS on former HISTORIANS, the Condud of our Colony 



A Defcription of the FLORIDAS, and the MISSISIPPI LANDS, with their PRODUC 
TIONS The Benefits of colonifing GEORGIANA, and civilizing the INDIANS 
And the way to make all the Colonies more valuable to the Mother Country. 

With a new MAP of the Country referred to in the Hiflory. 

By J A M E S A D A I R, Efquire, 
A TRADER with the INDIANS, and RefuTeht in their Country for Forty Years. 


Printed for EDWARD and CHARLES DILLY, in the Poultry. 



tiora and as often wifhed me to devote my kifurc 
hours to the drawing tip an Indian fyftem. You can 
witnds, that what I now fend into the world, was 
compofed more from a regard to jour requeft, than a 
forward defire of my own, The profpect of jour pa- 
tiojiage tflfptred me to write > and it is no final! plea- 
fure and honour to me, that fuch competent judges 
of the (everal particulars now presented to public view> 
exprdfed thcmfelves with fb much approbation of the 

You well know the uprightnefs of my intentions as 

to the information here given, and that truth hath been 

my grand ftaadard. I may have erred in the application 

the ritcu and cuftoms of the Indians to their origia 

and defccnt and may have drawn fome conclufions^, 

-/reding the given evidence but candor will excufe 
the language of integrity : and when the genuine prin- 
uplca, cuftoms, &c. of the Indians are known, it 
will be caficr afterwards for perfons of folid learning, 
and free from fecular cares, to trace their origin, clear 
>ij) the remaining difficulties, and produce a more perfect. 

Should my performance be in the Icaft degree inftru- 
toprpmotc an accurate inveftigation and knowledge 



of the American Indians their civilization and the 
happy fettlement of the fertile lands aroiind them, I 
{hall rejoice ; and the public will be greatly obliged to 
you, as your requeft incited to it ; and to you I am alfo 
indebted for many interefting particulars, and valuable 

I embrace this opportunity, of paying a public tefti- 
rnony of my gratitude, for your many favours to me. 
Permit me alfo to ^ celebrate your public fpirit 
your zealous and faithful fervice of your country 
your focial and domeftic virtues, &c. which have en 
deared you to all your acquaintance, and to all who 
have heard your names, and make you more illu- 
ftrious, than can any high founding titles. All who know 
you, will readily acquit me of fervility and flattery, in 
this addrefs. Dedications founded on thefe motives, are 
the difgrace of literature, and an infult to common fenfe. 
There are too many inftances of this proftitution in 
Great Britain, for it to be fuffered in America. Num 
bers of high feated patrons are praifed for their divine 
wifdom and godlike virtues, and yet the whole empire is 
difcontented, and America in ftrong convulfions. 

May you long enjoy your ufual calm and profperity ! 
that fo the widow, the fatherlefs, and the ftranger may 

A 2 always 


always joyfully return (as in paft years) from your hof- 
pitable houfes while this Dedication ftands as a fmall 
proof of that fincere attachment with which I am, 


Your moft obedient, 

Humble Servant, 


P R E- 


TH E following hi flory, and obfervationp, are the production, 
of one who hath been chiefly engaged in an Indian life ever 
fince the year 1735 : and. moft of the pages were written among.! 
our old friendly Chikkafah, with whom. I firft traded in the year. I 
1744. The fubjects are interefting, as well as atnufing ;. but never 
was a literary work, begun and carried, on with more difadvantages.. 
The author was feparated by his fituation,, from the converfatioa 
of the learned, and from any libraries Frequently interrupted 
Jlfo by bufinefs, and obliged to conceal his papers, through* the 
natural jealoufy of the natives; the traders letters of correfpond^- 
ence always excited their fufpicions, and often gave offence. Ano 
ther difficulty I had, to encounter, was the fecrecy and clofenefs of 
the Indians as to their own affairs, and their prying difpofition 
into thofe of others fo that there is no pofiibility of. retirement 
among them.. 

A view of the difadvantages of my fituation, made me reluctant 
Jto comply with the earned and repeated felicitations of many wor^ 
thy friends, to give the public an account of the Indian, nations 
with whom I had long refided, was fb intimately connected, and 
of whom fcarcely any thing had yet been 'publiihed but romance, 
and a mafs of fiction. My friends at laft prevailed,, and on perii- 
fing the (heets, they were pleafed to approve the contents, as con 
veying Jrue/ information, and general entertainment. Having no 
ambition to appear Ln the world as an author,, and knowing that 
my hiftory differed efTentially from all former publications of the 
kind, I firft refolded to fiipprefs my name; but my friends advifed 
me to own the work, and- thus it- is tendered to the public, 
in the prefent form.. 

3 The 


The performance, hath doubtlefs imperfections, humanum eft 
trrare. Some readers may think, there is too much of what re- 
Jates to myfelf, and of the adventures of fmall parties among the 
Indians and traders. But minute circumftances are often of great 
confequence, efpecially in difcovering the defcent and genius of a 
people defcribing their manners and cuftoms and 'giving proper 
information to rulers at a diftance. I thought it better to be efteemed 
prolix, than to omit any thing that might be ufeful on thefe points. 
Some repetitions, which occur, were neceflary The hiftory of the 
feveral Indian nations being fo much intermixed with each other, 
and their cuftoms fo nearly alike. 

One great advantage my readers will here have ; I fat down tg 
draw the Indians on the fpot had them many years (landing be 
fore me, and lived with them as a friend and brother. My inten 
tions were pure when I wrote, truth hath been my ftandard, and I 
have no finifler or mercenary views in publiming. With inexpref- 
fible concern I read the feveral imperfect and fabulous accounts of 
the Indians, already given to the world Fiction and conjecture 
have no place in the following pages. The public may depend on 
the fidelity of the author, and that his defcriptions are genuine, 
though perhaps not fo polimed and romantic as other Indian hifto- 
ries and accounts, they may have feen. 

My grand objects, were to give the Literati proper and good ma 
terials for tracing the origin of the American Indians and to in 
cite the higher powers zealoufly to promote the beft interefts of the 
Britifli colonies, and of the mother country. For whofe greatnefs 
and happinefs, I have the moft ardent deiires. 

The whole of the work is refpectully fubmitted to the candor 
and judgment of the impartial Public. 

C O N- 


/I Hiftory of the North American Indians, their cujloms, &c. 

Obfervations on their colour, Jhape, temper, and drefs. Page i 

Obfervations on the origin and defcent of the Indians p. i o 

O'bfervations, and arguments, in proof of the American Indians being defcended 

from the Jews. 

Argument I. Their divijion into tribes p. 15 

II. Their worjhip of Jehovah > p. 18 

III. Their notions of a theocracy . p. 32 

IV. Their belief in the miniftration of angels p. 35 
~V . Their language and diakfts P- 37 

VI. Their manner of counting time - p. 74 

VII. Their proph&ts and high priejls p. 80 

VIII. Their fejtivah* fajls, and religious rites P- 94 

IX. Their daily facrifice p. 115; 

X. Their ablutions and anointings p. 120. 

XL Their laws of uncleannefs P- 123 

XII. Their abftinence from unclean things p. 130^ 

XIII. Their marriages, divorces^ and punijhment of adultery - p. 138 

XIV. Their feveral punijhments - p. 146 
XV. Their cities of refuge p. 158 

XVI. Their purifications, and ceremonies preparatory to war p. 159 

XVII. Their ornaments p. 169, 

XVIII. Their manner of curing the fick p. 172 

XIX. Their burial of the dead p. 177 

XX. Their mourning for their dead p. 186 

XXI. Their rai/ing feed to a deceafed brother p. 189.. 

XXII. Their^ choice of names adapted to their circumftances and the 

times > p. 191 

XXIII. Their own traditions, the accounts of our Englijh writers, and 

the tejlimonies which the Spanijh and other authors have given, 

(oncerning the primitive inhabitants of Peru and Mexico* 

A-' P,- *94 



An Account of the Katahba, Cheerake, Mujkoghe or Creeks, Choktah, and 
Chikkafah Nations : with occafional remarks on their Laws, and the Con- 
duel of our Governors, Superintendents, MiJJionaries, &c. 
Account of the Katahba Nation, &c. 

Account of the Cheerake Nation, &V. 

Account of the Mujkohge Nation, &c. 

Account of the Choktah Nation, &c. 

Account of the Chikkafah Nation, &c. 

General Obfervations on the North- American Indians ; difplaying their Love to 
their Country Their Martial Spirit Their Caution in War Method of 
Fighting Barbarity to their Captives Inflames of their Fortitude and 
Magnanimity in the view of Death Their Reward of public Services 
The manner of Crowning their Warriors after Viclory Their Games Me 
thod of Fi/hing, and of Building Their Utenjils and Manufactures ConducJ 
in Domejlic Life Their Laws, Form of Government, &c.&c. p- 375 

p. 223 
p. 226 
P- 257 
p. 282 
P- 352 



Containing a Description of the Florida*, and the Miffi/ippi Lands, with their Pro 
ductions The Benefits of colonifmg Georgiana, and civilizing the Indians And 
the way to make all the Colonies more valuable to the Mother Country, p. 45 1 






Olfervatwns on the colour, Jbape, temper^ and drefs of 
the Indians of America. 

THE Indians are of a copper or r'ed-clay colour and they -de 
light in every thing, which they imagine may promote and increafe 
it : accordingly, they paint their faces with vermilion, as the belt 
and moft beautiful ingredient. If we confider the common laws of nature 
and providence, we mall not be furprized at this cuftom ; for every thing 
loves beft its own likenefs and place in the creation, and is difpofed to 
ridicule its oppofite. If a deformed fon of burning Africa, was to paint the 
devil, he would not do it in black colours, nor delineate him with a magged 
coarfe woolly head, nor with thick lips, a fhort flat nofe, or clumfy feet,, 
like thofe of a bear: his devil would reprefent one of a different nation or 
people. But was he to draw an agreeable picture, according to the African 
tafte, he would daub it all over with iboty black. All the Indians are fo 
ftrongly attached to, and prejudiced in favour of, ,their own colour, that 
they think as meanly of the whites, as we pombly can do of them. The 
Englifh traders among them, experience much of it, and are often very glad 
to be allowed to pafs mufter with the Indian chieftains, as fellow-brethren 

B of 

2 On tfie colour of tie Indians of America. 

of the human fpecies. One inftance will fufficiently fhcw in what flattering 
glaffes they view themfelves. 

Some time paft, a large body of the Englifh Indian traders, on their way 
to the Choktab country, were efcorted by a body of Creek and Choktah 
warriors. The Creeks having a particular friendfhip for fome of the traders, 
who had treated them pretty liberally, took this opportunity to chide the 
Choktahs, before the traders, in a fmart though friendly way, for not 
allowing to the Englifh the name of human creatures: for the general 
name they give us in their mod favourable war-fpeeches, refembles that of 
a contemptible, heterogeneous animal. 

The hotter, or colder the climate is, where the Indians have long refided, 
the greater proportion have they either of the red, or white, colour. I took 
particular notice of the Shavvano Indians, as they were pafiing from the 
northward, within fifty miles of the Chikkafah country, to that of the 
Creeks ; and, by comparing them with the Indians which I accompanied to 
their camp, I obferved the Shavvano to be much fairer than the Chikkafah *; 
though I am fatisfied, their endeavours to cultivate the copper colour* 
were alike. Many incidents and obfervations lead me to believe, that the 
Indian colour is not natural , but that the external difference between them 
and the whites, proceeds entirely from their cuftoms and method of living, 
and not from any inherent fpring of nature , which will entirely overturn 
Lord Kames's whole fyflem of colour, and feparate races of men. 

That the Indian colour is merely accidental, or artificial, appears pretty 
evident. Their own traditions record them to have come to their prefenc 
lands by the way of the weft, from a far diftant country, and where there- 
was no variegation of colour in human beings ; and they are entirely 
ignorant which was the firft or primitive colour. Befides, their rites, 
cuftoms, &c. as we {hall prefently fee, prove them to be orientalifts : and, 
as the difference of colour among the human fpecies, is one of the principal 
caufes of feparation, ftrife, and bloodfhed, would it not greatly, reflect on the 
goodnefs and juftice of the Divine Being^ ignominioufly to brand numerous 
tribes and their pofterity, with a colour odious and hateful in the fight and 
opinion of thofe of a different colour. Some writers have contended, from 

* S is not a note of plurality with the Indians ; when I mention therefore either their na 
tional, or proper names, that common error is avoided, which writers ignorant of their lan 
guage conflantly commit.. 


On the colour of tie Indians of America. % 

tlie diverfity of colour, that America was not peopled from any part of Afia, 
or of the old world, but that the natives were a feparate creation. Of this 
opinion, is Lord Kames, and which he labours to eftablifh in his late pub 
lication, entitled, Sketches of the Hifiory of Man. But his reafoning on this 
point, for a local creation, is contrary both to revelation, and facts. His 
chief argument, that " there is not a fmgle hair on the body of any American, 
nor the leaft appearance of a beard," is utterly deftitute of foundation, as 
can be attefted by all who have had any communication with them of this 
more prefently. Moreover, to form one creation of '.whites, afecond creation 
for the yellows, and a third for the blacks, is a weaknefs, of which infinite 
wifdom is incapable. Its operations are plain, eafy, conftant, and perfect. 
The variegation therefore of colours among the human race, depends upon 
a fecond caufe. Lord Kames himfelf acknowledges, that " the Spanifh in 
habitants of Carthagena in South-America lofe their vigour and colour in a 
few months.'* 

We are informed by the anatomical obfervations of our American phyfi- 
cians, concerning the Indians, that they have difcerned a certain fine cowl, or 
web, of a red gluey fubftance, clofe under the outer (kin, to which it reflects 
the colour ; as the epidermis, or outer fkin, is alike clear in every different 
creature. And experience, which is the beft medium to difcover truth, gives 
the true caufe why this corpus mucofum, or gluifh web, is red in the Indians, 
and white in us ; the parching winds, and hot fun-beams, beating upon 
their naked bodies, in their various gradations of life> necefiarily tarnifh 
their fkins with the tawny red colour. Add to this, their conftant 
anointing themfelves with bear's oil, or greafe, mixt with a certain red root, 
which, by a peculiar property, is able alone, in a few years time, to produce 
the Indian colour in thofe who are white born, and who have even advanced 
to maturity, Thefe metamorphofes I have often feen. 

At the Shawano main camp *, I faw a Penfylvanian, a white man by 
'birth, and in profeffien a chriftian, who, by the inclemency of the fun, 

* In the year 1747, I headed a company of the cheerful, brave Chikkafah, with the 
eagles tails, to the camp of the Shawano Indians, to apprehend one Peter Shartee, (a 
Frenchman) who, by his artful paintings, and the fupine condufl of the Penfylvanian govern 
ment, had decoyed a large body of the Shawano from the Englilh, to the French, intcreft. 
But fearing the confequences, he went round an hundred miles, toward the Cheerake nation, 
with his family, and the head warriors, and thereby evaded the danger. 

B 2 and 

4 On the colour and temper of the Indians of America. 

and his endeavours of improving the red colour, was tarnilhed with as deep 
an Indian hue, as any of the camp, though they had been in the woods; 
only the fpace of four years, 

We may eafily conclude then, what a fixt change of colour, fuch a com- 
ftant method of life would produce : for the colour being once thoroughly 
eftablimed, nature would, as it were, forget herfelf, not to beget her owa 
likenefs. Befides, may we not fuppofe, that the imagination can imprefs ths 
animalcuke, in the time of copulation, by its ftrong fubtile power,, with at 
lead fuch an external fimilitude, as we fpeak of? The facred oracles, and 
chriftian regifters, as well as Indian traditions, fupport the fentimentj 
the colour of Jacob's cattle refembled that of the peeled rods he placed be 
fore them, in the time of conception. We have good authority of a Spanifk 
lady, who conceived, and was delivered of a negro child, by means of a 
black picture that hung on the wall, oppofite to the bed where me lay. There 
is a record among the Chikkafah Indians, that tells us of a white child with 
flaxen hair, born in their country, long before any white people appeared in 
that part of the world ; which they afcribed to the immediate power of the 
Deity impreffing her imagination in a dream. And the Philofophical Tranf- 
actions afiure us of two white children having been born of black parents. 
But waving all other arguments, the different method of living, connected 
with the difference of climates, and extraordinary anointings and paintings, 
will effect both outward and inward changes in the human race, all round 
the globe : or, a different colour may be conveyed to the fcetus by the 
parents, through the channel- of the fluids, without the leaft variation of the 
original ftamina. For, though the laws of nature cannot be traced far., 
where there are various circumftances, and combinations of things, yet net 
works are exquifitely ccnftant and regular, being thereto impelled by 
unerring divine Wifdom.. 

As the American Indians are of a reddifh or copper colour, fo in general 
they are ftrong, well proportioned in body and limbs, furprifingiy active 
and nimble, and hardy in their own way of living. 

They are ingenious, witty, cunning, and deceitful ; very faithful indeed to 
their own tribes, but privately diflioneft, and mifchievous to the Europeans and 
chriftians. Their being honeft and harmlefs to each other, may be through 
fear of refentment and reprifal which is unavoidable in cafe of any injury. 

7 They 

On the temper and Jhape of the- Indians of America. 

They are very clofe, and retentive of their fecrets ; never forget injuries , 
revengeful of blood, to a degree of diffraction. They are timorous, and, 
confequentiy, cautious ; very jealous of encroachments from their chriftian. 
neighbours ; and, likewifc, content with freedom, in every turn of fortune. 
They are poffefled of a ftrong comprehenfive judgment, can form furprif- 
ingly crafty fchemes, and conduct them with equal caution, filence, and 
addrefs ; they admit none but diftinguifhed warriors, and old beloved men, 
into their councils. They are flow, but very perfevering in their under 
takings commonly temperate in eating, but exceffively immoderate in 
drinking. They. often transform themfelves by liquor into the likenefs of 
mad foaming bears. The women, in general, are of a mild, amiable, foft 
difpofition : exceedingly modeft in their behaviour,, and very feldom noify,. 
either in the fingle, or married Rate, 

The men are expert in the ufe of fire-arms, in mooting the bow, and 
throwing the feathered dart, and tomohawk, into the flying enemy. They 
refemble the lynx, with their fharp penetrating black eyes, and are exceed 
ingly fwirt of foot; efpecially in a long chafe : they will ftretch away, through, 
the rough woods, by the bare track, for two or three hundred miles, in purfuic 
of a flying enemy, with the continued fpeed, and eagernefs, of a flanch 
pack of blood hounds,, till they fhed blood. When they have allayed this 
their burning third, they return home, at their leifure, unlefs they chance. 
to be purfued, as is fometimes the cafe ; whence the traders fay, " that an 
Indian is never in a hurry, but when the devil, is at his heels-" 

It is remarkable, that there are no deformed Indians however, they are 
generally weaker, and fmaller bodied, between the tropics, than in the higher 
latitudes , but not in an equal proportion : for, though the Chikkafah and 
Choktah countries have not been long divided from each other, as appears 
by the fimilarity of their language, as well as- other things, yet the Chikkafah? 
are exceedingly taller, and ftronger bodied than the latter, though their 
country is only two degrees farther north. Such a fmall difference of latitude, 
in fo healthy a region, could not make fo wide a difference in the confti- 
tution of their bodies. The former are a comely, pleaiant looking peo 
ple , their faces are tolerably round,, contrary to. the vifage of the others, 
which inclines much to flatnefs, as is the cafe of moft of the other Indian. 
Americans. The lips of the Indians, in general, are thin.. 


6 On thefiape of the Indians of America. 

Their eyes are fmall, (harp, and black ; and their hair , is lank, coarfe, 
and darkifh. I never faw any with curled hair, but one in the Choktah 
country, where was alfo another with red hair ; probably, they were a mix 
ture of the French and Indians. Romancing travellers, and their credulous 
copyifts, report them to be Marks, and as perfons impuberes> and they ap 
pear fo to ftrangers. But both fexes pluck all the hair off their bodies, 
with a kind of tweezers, made formerly of clam-fhells, now of middle- fized 
wire, in the Ihape of a gun-worm ; which, being twitted round a fmall flick, 
and the ends fattened therein, after being properly tempered, keeps its 
form : holding this Indian razor between their fore-finger and thumb, they 
deplume themfelves, after the manner of the Jewifh novitiate priefts, and 
profelytes. As the former could not otherwife be purified for the function 
of his facerdotal office j or the latter, be admitted to the benefit of reli 
gious communion. 

Their chief drefs is very fimple, like that of the patriarchal age ; of 
choice, many of their old head-men wear a long wide frock, made of the 
fkins of wild beafts, in honour of that antient cuftom : It muft be neceffity 
that forces them to the pinching fandals for their feet. They feem quite eafy, 
and indifferent, in every various fcene of life, as if they were utterly diverted 
of pafiions, and the fenfe of feeling. Martial virtue, and not riches, is their 
invariable ftandard for preferment ; for they neither efteem, nor defpife any of 
their people one jot more or lefs, on account of riches or drefs. They compare 
both thefe, to paint on a warrior's face ; becaufe it incites others to a fpirit 
of martial benevolence for their country, and pleafes his own fancy, and 
the eyes of fpeflators, for a little time, but is fweated off, while he is per 
forming his war-dances ; or is defaced, by the change of weather. 

They formerly wore mirts, made of dreft deer-ikins, for their fummer 
vifuing drefs : but their winter-hunting clothes were long and fhaggy, 
made of the fkins of panthers, bucks, bears, beavers, and otters ; the 
fiefhy fides outward, fometimes doubled, and always foftened like velvet- 
cloth, though they retained their fur and hair. The needles and thread they 
ufed formerly, (and now at times) were fifn-bones, or the horns and bones of 
deer, rubbed (harp, and deer's finews, and a fort of hemp, that grows among 
them fpontaneoufly, in rich open lands. The women's drefs confifts only in a 


On the drefs of the Indians of America, j 

broad foftened fkin, or feveral fmall {kins fewed together, which they wrap 
and tye round their waift, reaching a little below their knees : in cold 
weather, they wrap themfelves in the foftened (kins of buffalo calves, with 
the wintery lhagged wool inward, never forgetting to anoint, and tie up 
their hair, except in their time of mourning. The men wear, for orna 
ment, and the conveniencies of hunting, thin deer- fkin boots, well 
fmoked, that reach fo high up their thighs, as with their jackets to fecure 
them from the brambles and braky thickets. They few them about 
five inches from the edges, which are formed into tofiels, to which they 
fatten fawns trotters, and fmall pieces of tinkling metal, or wild turkey- 
cock-fpurs. The beaus ufed to faften the like t6 their war-pipes, with 
the addition of a piece of an enemy's fcalp with a tuft of long hair hang 
ing down from the middle- of the ftem, each of them painted red : and they 
ftill obferve that old cuftom, only they choofe bell-buttons, to give a 
greater found. 

The young Indian men and women, through a fondnefs of their ancient 
drefs, wrap a piece of cloth round them, that has a near refemblance to the 
old Roman toga, or praetexta, *Tis about a fathom fquare, bordered 
feven or eight quarters deep, to make a mining cavalier of the beau 
monde, and to keep out both the heat and cold. With this frantic appa 
rel, the red heroes fwaddle themfelves, when they are waddling, whooping,, 
and prancing it away, in their fweltery town-houfes, or fuppofed fynhe- 
dria, around the reputed holy fire. In a fweating condition, they will thus 
incommode themfelves, frequently, for a whole night, on the fame princi 
ple of pride, that the grave Spaniard's winter eloak mult fweat him in fum- 
mer. / 

They have a great averfion to the wearing of breeches , for to that cuf 
tom, they affix the idea of helpleflhefs, and effeminacy. I know a Ger 
man of thirty years Handing, chiefly among the Chikkafah Indians, who 
becaufe he kept up his breeches with a narrow piece of cloth that reached 
acrofs his moulders, is diftinguifhed by them, as are all his countrymen, by 
the defpicable appellative, Kim-Kim Tarakfhe, or Tied Arfe. They efteem 
the Englifh much more than the Germans, becaufe our limbs, they fay, are 
kfs reftrained by our apparel from manly exercife, than theirs. The Indian 
women alfo difcreetly obferve, that, as all their men fit down to make- 
7 water r 

8 On the drefs of the Indians of America. 

water, the ugly breeches would exceedingly incommode them ; and that, 
if they were allowed to wear breeches, it would portend no good to their 
country : however, they add, fhould they ever be fo unlucky, as to have 
that pinching cuilom introduced among them, the Englifh breeches would 
beft iuit their own female pofture on that occafion \ but that it would be 
exceedingly troublefome either way. The men wear a flip of cloth, about 
a quarter of an ell wide, and an ell and an half long, in the lieu of 
breeches ; which they put between their legs, and tye round their 
haunches, with a convenient broad bandage, The women, fince the time 
we firft traded with them, wrap a fathom of the half breadth of Stroud 
cloth round their waift, and tie it with a leathern belt, which is commonly 
covered with brafs runners or buckles : but this fort of loofe petticoat, 
reaches only to their hams, in order to Ihew .their exquifitely fine propor 
tioned limbs. 

They make their moes for common ufe, out of the fkins of the bear and 
elk, well drefled and fmoked, to prevent hardening ; and thole for orna 
ment, out of deer-fkins, done in the like manner: but they chiefly go 
bare-footed, and always bare-headed. The men fatten feveral different forts 
ef beautiful feathers, frequently in tufts ; or the wing of a red bird, or 
the (kin of a fmall hawk, to a lock of hair on the crown of their heads. 
And every different Indian nation when at war, trim their hair, after a 
different manner, through contempt of each other j thus we can diftin- 
gui(h an enemy in the woods, fo far off as we can fee him. 

The Indians flatten* their heads, in divers forms : but it is chiefly the crown 
of the head they deprefs, in order to beautify themfelves, as their wild fancy 
terms it-, for they call us long heads, by way of contempt. The Choktah 
Indians flatten their fore-heads, from the top of the head to the eye-brows 
with a (mall bag of fand ; which gives them a hideous appearance ; as 
the forehead naturally moots upward, according as it is flattened : thus, 
the rifing of the nofe, inftead of being equidiltant from the begin- 
ning of the chin, to that of the hair, is, by their wild mechanifm, placed 
a great deal nearer to the one, and farther from the other. The Indian 
nations, round South-Carolina, and all the way to New Mexico, (pro 
perly called Mechiko) to eifed this, fix the tender infant on a kind of 
cradle, where his feet are tilted, above a foot higher than a horizontal po- 


On the drefs of the Indians of America. 9 

jfition, his head bends back into a hole, made on purpofe to receive it, 
where he bears the chief part of his weight on the crown of the head, upon 
a fmall bag of fand, without being in the leaft able to move himfelf. The 
fkull refembling a fine cartilaginous fubftance, in its infant flate, is ca 
pable of taking any imprefiion. By this preflure, and their thus flatten 
ing the crown of the head, they confequently make their heads thick, 
and their faces broad : for, when the fmooth channel of nature is flopped 
in one place, if a deftruclion of the whole fyftem doth not thereby en- 
fue, it breaks out in a proportional redundancy, in another. May we not 
to this cuftom, and as a neceflary effect of this caufe, attribute their fickle, 
wild, and cruel tempers? efpecially, when we connect therewith, both a 
falfe education, and great exercife to agitate their animal fpirits. When 
the brain, in cooler people, is dillurbed, it neither reafons, nor determines, 
with proper judgment ? The Indians thus look OH every thing around 
them, through their own falfe medium ; and vilify our heads, becaufe they 
have given a wrong turn to their own. 


Observations on the origin and defcent of the Indians. 

THE very remote hiftory of all nations, is disfigured with fable, and 
gives but little encouragement to diftant enquiry, and laborious re- 
fearches. Much of the early hiftory and antiquities of nations is loft, and 
fome people have no records at all, and to this day are rude and uncivi 
lized. Yet a knowledge of them is highly interefting, and would afford 
amufement, and even inftruclion in the moft polifhed times, to the mod 
polite. Every fcience has certain principles, as its bafis, from which it 
reafons and concludes. Mathematical theorems, and logical proportions, 
give clear demonftrations, and necefTary conclufions : and thus other fci- 
ences. But, biftory^ and the origin of tribes and nations, have hitherto been 
covered with a great deal of obfcurity. Some antient hiftorians were igno 
rant , others prejudiced. Some fearchers into antiquities adopted the tra 
ditional tales of their predeceflbrs : and others looking with contempt on 
the origin of tribes and focieties, altogether exploded them, without invef- 
tigation. My defign is, to examine, and if poffible, afcertain the genea 
logy and defcent of the Indians, and to omit nothing that may in the leaft 
contribute to furnifh the public with a full INDIAN SYSTEM. 

In tracing the origin of a people, where there are no records of any kind, 
either written, or engraved, who rely folely on oral tradition for the lupport 
of their antient ufages, and have loit great part of them though the under 
taking be difficult, yet where feveral particulars, and circumftances, ftrong 
and clear, correfpond, they not only make room for conjecture, but cherifh 
probability, and till better can be offered, muft be deemed conclufive. 

All the various nations of Indians, feem to be of one defcent ; they call 

a buffalo, in their various dialefts, by one and the fame name, " Tanafa'* 

And there is a ftrong fimilarity of religious rites, and of civil and 

martial cuftoms, among ail the various American nations of Indians we 

7 have 

On the origin and defcent of the Indians. 1 1 

liave any knowledge of, on the extenlive continent ; as will foon be 

Their language is copious, and very expreffive, for their narrow orbit of 
ideas, and full of rhetorical tropes and figures, like the orientalifts. In 
early times, when languages were not fo copious, rhetoric was. invented to 
fupply that defect : and, what barrennefs then forced them to, cuftom now 
continues as an ornament. 

Formerly, at a public meeting of the head-men, and chief orators, >of 
the Choktah nation, I heard one of their eloquent fpeakers deliver a very 
pathetic, elaborate, allegorical, tragic oration, in the high praife, and for 
the great lofs, of their great, judicious war-chieftain, Shu-las hum-mdjh- 
ta-be, our daring, brave friend, rcdjhoes. The orator compared him to 
the fun, that enlightens and enlivens the whole fyftem of created beings : 
and having carried the metaphor to a confiderable length, he expatiated on 
the variety of evils, that neceflarily refult from the difappearance and ab- 
fence of the fun , and, with a great deal of judgment, and propriety of 
expreffion, he concluded his oration with the fame trope, with which he 

They often change the fenfe of words into a different fignification from 
the natural, exactly after the manner alfo of the orientalifts. Even, their 
common fpeech is full of it , like the prophetic writings, and the book of 
Job, their orations are concife, ftrong, and full of fire ; which fuf- 
ficiently confutes the wild notion which fome have efpoufed of the North 
American Indians being Pras-Adamites, or a feparate race of men, 
created for that continent What ftronger circumftantial proofs can 
be expected, than that they, being disjoined from the reft of the world, 
time immemorial, and deftitute alfo of the ufe of letters, mould have, 
and ftill retain the ancient ftandard of fpeech, conveyed down by oral 
tradition from father to fon, to the prefent generation ? Befides, thc-ir 
perfons, cuftoms, &c. are not fingular from the reft of the world ; which, 
probably, they would, were they not deicendcd from one and the fame 
common head. Their notions of things are like ours, and their organScal 
ftructure is the fame. In them, the foul governs the body, according to the 
common laws of God in the creation of Adam. God employed fix 
days, in creating the heavens, this earth, and the innumerable fpecies 

C 2 Of 

j 2 On the origin and defcent of the Indians. 

of creatures, wherewith it is fo.amply furnifhed. The works of a being, 
infinitely perfeft, muft entirely anfwer the defign of them : hence there 
could be no neceflity for a fecond creation , or God's creating many pairs 
of the human race differing from each other, and fitted for different cli 
mates : becaufe, that implies imperfeaion, in the grand fcheme, or a want 
of power, in the execution of it Had there been a prior, or later formation 
of any new clafs of creatures, they muft materially differ from thofe of the 
fix days work , for it is inconfiftent with divine wifdom to make a vain, 
or unneceflary repetition of the fame aft. But the American Indians nei-' 
ther vary from the reft of mankind, in their internal conitruftion, nor ex 
ternal appearance, except in colour; which, as hath been (hewn, is either 
entirely accidental, or artificial. As the Mofaic account declares a comple 
tion of the manifeftations of God's infinite wifdom and power in creation^ 
within that fpace of time-, it follows, that the Indians have lineally defcended 
from Adam, the firft, and the great parent of all the human fpecies. , 

Both the Chikkafah and Choktah Indians, call a deceitful peribn, Seente,. 
a fnake : and they frequently fay, they have not Seente Soolijh > the fnake's 
tongue , the meaning of which, is very analogous to n 9 a name the He 
brews gave to a deceitful perfon , which probably proceeded from a tra 
ditional knowledge of Eve's being beguiled by the tempter, in that fhape ; 
for the Indians never affix any bad idea to the prefent reptile fraternity, 
except that of poifonous teeth i and they never ufe any fuch metaphor, 
as that of a fnake's teeth. 

Some have fuppofed the Americans to be defcended from the Cbinefe :: 
but neither their religion, laws, cuftoms, &c., agree in the leaft with 
thofe of the Chinefe : which fufficiently proves, they are not of that 
line. Befides, as our beft mips now are almoft half a year in failing 
to China, or from thence to Europe ; it is very unlikely they fhould 
attempt fuch dangerous difcoveries, in early time, with their (fuppofed) 
fmall veflels, againft rapid currents, and in dark and fickly monfoons ; 
efpecially, as it is very probable they were unacquainted with the ufe 
of the load-done to direct their courfe. China is above eight thoufand 
miles diftant from the American continent, which is twice as far as acrofs- 
the Atlantic ocean. And, we are not informed by any antient writer, 
of their maritime fkill, or fo much as any inclination that way, befides 

7 fmall 

On the origin and defcent of the Indians. \ 3 

fmall coafting voyages. The winds blow likewife, with little variation, 
from eaft to weft, within the latitudes of thirty and odd, north and fouth,, 
and therefore they could not drive them on the American coaft, it lying di 
rectly contrary to fuch a courfe. 

Neither could perfons fail to America, from the north, by the way of 
Tartary, or ancient Scythia , that, from its fituation, never was, or can 
be, a maritime power, and it is utterly impracticable for any to come to 
America, by fea, from that quarter. Befides, the remaining traces of their 
religious ceremonies, and civil and martial cuftoms, are quite oppofite to 
the like vefliges of the old Scythians. 

Nor, even in the moderate northern climates, is to be feen the leaft 
veftige of any ancient {lately buildings, or of any thick fettlements, as are 
faid to remain in the lefs healthy regions of Peru and Mexico. Several of 
the Indian nations afiure us they crofted the Mifiifippi, before they made 
their prefent northern fettlements j which, connected with the former 
arguments, will fufficiently explode that weak opinion, of the American; 
Aborigines being lineally defcended from the Tartars, or ancient Scy 

It is a .very difficult thing to dived ourfelves, not to fay, other perfons,, 
of prejudices and favourite opinions ; and I expect to be cenfured by fome r 
for oppofing commonly received fentiments, or for meddling with a difpute 
agitated among the learned' ever fince the firft difcovery of America. But,, 
TRUTH is my object : and I hope to offer fome things, which, if they do 
not fully folve the problem, may lead the way, and enable others, poffef- 
fing ftronger judgment, more learning, and more leifure, to accomplish it. 
As I before fuggefted, where we have not the light of hiftory, or records, 
to guide us through the dark maze of antiquity, we muft endeavour to 
find it out by probable arguments ; and in fuch fubjects of enquiry, where 
no material objections can be raifed againft probability, it is ftrongly con- 
clufive of the truth, and nearly gives the thing fought for. 

From the moft exafb obfervations I could make in the long time I 
traded among the Indian Americans, I was forced to believe them lineally 
defcended from the Ifraelites, either while they were a maritime power,, 


14 On the origin and defcent of the Indians. 

or foon after the general captivity ; the latter however is the moft pro 
bable. This defcent, I fhall endeavour to prove from their religious rites, 
civil and martial cuftoms, their marriages, funeral ceremonies, manners, 
language, traditions, and a variety of particulars. Which will at the fame 
time make the reader thoroughly acquainted with nations, of which it may 
be faid to this day, very little have been known. 


Obfervations, and arguments^ in proof of the American 
Indians being defcended from the yews. 

A Number of particulars prefent themfelves in favour of a Jewifli defcent. 
But to form a true judgment, and draw a folid conclufion, the fol 
lowing arguments mufl not be partially feparated.- Let them be diftin<5tly 
confidered then unite them together, and view their force collectively. 


As the Ifraelites were divided into TRIBES, and had chiefs over them, Ib 
the Indians divide themfelves : each tribe forms a little community within 
the nation And as the nation hath its particular fymbol, fo hath each tribe 
the badge from which it is denominated. The fachem of each tribe, is a 
neceflary party in conveyances and treaties, to which he affixes the mark of 
his tribe, as a corporation with us doth their public feal *. If we go from 
nation to nation^ among them, we mail not find one, who doth not lineally 
diftinguifh himfelf by his refpective family. The genealogical names which 
they affume, are derived, either from the names of thofe animals, whereof 
the cherubim are faid in revelation, to be compounded ; or from fuch crea 
tures as are moft familiar to them. They have the families of the eagle, 
panther, tyger, and buffalo ; the family of the bear, deer^ racoon^ tortoife* 
fnake^ fijh , and, likewife, of the wind. The laft, if not derived from the. 
appearance of the divine glory, as expreffed by the prophet Ezekiel, may 

* Many of the ancient heathens followed the Jewifli cuftom of dividing themfelves into 
tribes, or families. The city of Athens was divided into ten parts, or tribes, and 
which the Greeks called Phule, a tribe. They named each of the heads that prefided over 
them, Archegos, Archiphulogos, &c. And writers inform us, that the Eaft-Indian pagans 
have to this day tribes, or calls ; and that each caft chufes a head to maintain its privileges, 
to promote a ftricl obfervance of their laws, and to take care that every thing be managed 
with proper order. The ancient heathens mimicked a great deal of the Jewifli ceremonial 


1 6 On the decent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

be of Tyrian extraction. We are told in the fragment of Sanchoniathon, 
that the Tyrians worfhipped fire, and the aerial wind, as gods ; and that 
Ufous, the fon of Hypfcuranias, built a facred pillar to each of them : fo 
that, if it is not of Ifraelitifh extraction, it may be derived from the Tyrians 
their neighbours as may, likewife, the appellative name of fijh ; efpecially, 
as the Indians, fometimes, invoke the eagle, and the filh, when they are 
curing their fick. The Tyrians were the people, in early times, who, above 
all others, enriched themfelves in the natural element of the filh. 

The Indians, however, bear no religious refpecl to the animals from 
which they derive the names of their tribes, but will kill any of the fpecies, 
when opportunity ferves. The wolf indeed, feveral of them do not care to 
meddle with, believing it unlucky to kill them ; which is the fole reafon that 
few of the Indians fhoot at that creature, through a notion of fpoiling their 
guns. Confidering the proximity of Tyre to Egypt, probably this might 
be a cuftom of Egyptian extraction ; though, at the fame time, they are fo 
far from efteeming it a deity, they reckon it the moil abominable quadruped 
of the whole creation. 

There is no tribe, or individual, among them, however, called by the 
-name cpc/um *, which is with the Cheerake ftiled feequa ; and with the 
Chikkafah and Choktah Indians, Jbookka, fynonymous with that of a hog. 
This may be more material than at firft appears, as our natural hiftories tell 
us, that? the opoflum is common in other parts of the world. Several of 
the old Indians aflure us, they formerly reckoned h as filthy uneatable an 
animal, as a hog , although they confefs, and we know by long obfervation, 
that, from the time our traders fettled among them, they are every year 
more corrupt in their morals ; not only in this inftance of eating an impure 
animal, but in many other religious cuftoms of their forefathers. 

When we confider the various revolutions thefe unlettered favages are 
likely to have undergone, among themfelves, through a long-forgotten 
meafure of time ; and that, probably, they have been above twenty centu 
ries, without the ufe of letters to convey down their traditions, it cannot 
be reafonably expected they fliould ftill retain the identical names of 

* A creature that hath a head like a hog, and a tail like a rat. 


Their divifan into tribes and families* 1 7 


their primo-genial tribes. Their main cuftoms correfponding with thofe 
of the- Ifraelites, fufficiently clears the fubjecl:. Befides, as hath been 
hinted, they call fome of their tribes by the names of the cherubimical 
figures, that were carried on the four principal ftandards of Ifrael. 

I have obierved with much inward fatisfaction, the community of goods 
that prevailed among them, after the patriarchal manner, and that of the 
primitive chriftians ; efpecially with thofe of their own tribe. Though 
they are become exceedingly corrupt, in moft of their ancient com 
mendable qualities, yet they are fo hofpitable, kind-hearted, and free, 
that they would mare with thofe of their own tribe, the lad part of 
their provifions, even to a fingle ear of corn ; and to others, if they called 
when they were eating; for they have no ftated meal-time. An open gene 
rous temper is a (landing virtue among them ; to be narrow-hearted, efpe 
cially to thofe in want, or to any of their own family, is accounted a great 
crime, and to reflect fcandal on the reft of the- tribe. Such wretched mifers 
they brand with bad characters, and wifh them the fate of Prometheus, to 
have an eagle or vulture fattened to their liver : or of Tantalus, ftarving in 
the midft of plenty, without being able to ufc it. The Cheerake Indians 
have a pointed proverbial expreffion, to the fame effect Sinnawah na wora\ 
" The great hawk is at home." However, it is a very rare thing to find 
any of them of a narrow temper : and though they do not keep one promif- 
cuous common ftock, yet it is to the very fame effect ; for every one has his 
own family, or tribe : and, when one of them is fpeaking, either of the 
individuals, or habitations, of any of his tribe, he fays, " He is of my 
houfe -," or, " It is my houfe." Thus, when King David prayed that the 
divine wrath might only fall on his houfe, he might mean the tribe of 
Judah, as well as his own particular family, exclufive of the aggregate body 
of Ifrael. 

When the Indians are travelling in their own country, they enquire 
for a houfe of their own tribe ; and if there be any, they go to it, and are 
kindly received, though they never faw the perfons before they eat, drink, 
and regale themfelves, with as much freedom, as at their own tables ; which 
is the folid ground covered with a bear-fkin. It is their ufual cuftom to 
carry nothing along with them in their journies but a looking-glafs, and red 
paint, hung to their back their gun and fhot pouch or bow and quiver 

D full 

1 8 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews; 

full of barbed arrows , and, frequently, both gun and bow : for as they are 
generally in a ilate of war againft each other, they are obliged, as foon as 
able, to carry thofe arms of defence. Every town has a ftate-houfe, or 
fynedrion, as the Jewifh fanhedrim, where, alrnoft every night, the head men 
convene about public bufmefs ; or the town's-people to feaft, fing, dance, 
and rejoice, in the divine prefence, as will fully be defcribed hereafter. And 
if a ftranger calls there, he is treated with the greateft civility and hearty 
kindnefs he is fure to find plenty of their fimple home fare, and a large 
cane-bed covered with the foftened fkins of bears, or buffaloes, to fleep on. 
But, when his lineage is known to the people, (by a ftated cuftom, they 
are flow in greeting one another) his relation, if he has any there, ad- 
drefles him in a familiar way, invites him home, and treats him as his kinf- 

When a warrior dies a natural death, (which feldom happens) the war- 
drums, mufical inftruments, and all other kinds of diverfion, are laid 
afide for the fpace of three days and nights. In this time of mourning 
for the dead, I have known fome of the frolickfome young fparks to 
afk the name of the deceafed perfon's tribe ; and once, being told it was 
a racoon, (the genealogical name of the family) one of them fcofrlngly 
replied, " then let us away to another town, and cheer ourfelves with thofe 
who have no rcafon to weep ; for why iliould we make our hearts weigh 
heavy for an ugly, dead racoon ?" 

But notwithftanding they are commonly negligent of any other tribe but 
their own, they regard their own particular lineal defcent, in as ftricl a 
manner as did the Hebrew nation. 


By a ftricl, permanent, divine precept, the Hebrew nation were ordered 
to worihip at Jerufalem, Jehovah the true and living God, and who by the 
Indians is ftiled Tobewab ; which the^ feventy-two interpreters, either from 
ignorance or fuperftition, have translated Adonai j and is the very fame as the 
Greek Kurios> fignifying Sir, Lord, or Matter; which is commonly applied 
to earthly potentates, without the leaft fignification of, or relation to, that 
moft great and awful name, which defcribes the divine effence, who naturally 


fbeir notions of a "Deity correfpond. 19 

and neceflarily exifts of himfelf, without beginning or end. The ancient 
heathens, it is well known, worfhipped a plurality of gods Gods which 
they formed to themfelves, according to their own liking, as various as the 
countries they inhabited, and as numerous, with fome, as the days of the year. 
But thefe Indian Americans pay their religious devoir to Loak-I/htoboollo-^iba^ 
*' the great, beneficent, fupreme, holy fpirit of fire," who refides (as they 
think) above the clouds, and on earth alfo with unpolluted people. He is 
with them the fole author of warmth, light, and of all animal and vegetable 
life. They do not pay the lead perceivable adoration to any images, or to 
dead perfons ; neither to the celeftial luminaries, nor evil fpirits, nor any 
created being whatfoever. They are utter ftrangers to all the geftures 
practifed by the pagans in their religious rites. They kifs no idols j nor, if 
they were placed out of their reach, would they kifs their hands, in token of 
reverence and a willing obedience. 

The ceremonies of the Indians in their religious worfhip, are more after 
the Mofaic inflitution, than of pagan imitation: which could not be, if the 
majority of the old natives were of heathenifli defcent ; for all bigots and 
enthufiafts will fight to death for the very fhadow of their fuperflitious wor 
fhip, when they have even loft all the fubftance. There yet remain fo many 
marks, as to enable us to trace the Hebrew extraction and rites, through all 
the various nations of Indians ; and we ma^y with a great deal of probability 
conclude, that, if any heathens accompanied them to the American world 
or were fettled in it before "them, they became profelytes of ju ft ice, and 
their pagan rites and cuftoms were fwallowed up in the Jewim. 

To illuftrate the general fubjeftj I mall give the Indian opinion of fome 
of the heathen gods, contrafted with that of the pagan. 

The American Indians do not believe the SUN to be any bigger than it 
appears to the naked eye. Converfing with the Chikkafah archi-magus, or 
high-prieft, about that luminary, he told me, " it might poffibly be as broad 
and round as his winter-houfe ; but he thought it could not well exceed it." 
We cannot be furprized at the ilupidity of the Americans in this refpecl:, 
when we confider the grofs ignorance which now prevails among the general 
part of the Jews, not only of the whole fyftem of nature, but of the eflential 
meaning of their own religious ceremonies, received from the Divine Majefty. 

D 2 And 

20 On the defcent of the American Indians from tie Jews.. 

And alfo when we refieft, that the very learned, and moft polite of the an 
cient Romans, believed (not by any new-invented mythology of their own) 
that the fun was drawn round the earth in a chariot. Their philofophic fy- 
ftem was not very diffimilar to that of the wild Americans -, for Cicero tells 
us, Epicurus thought the fun to be lefs than it appeared to the eye. And. 
Lucretius fays, 'Tantillus ilk fol, " a diminutive thing." And, if the Ifrael- 
kes had not at one time thought the fun a. portable god, they would not 
have thought of a chariot for it. This they derived from the neighbouring 
heathen \ for we are told, that they had an houfe of the fun, where they 
danced in honour of him, in circuits, and had confecrated fpherical figures - t . 
and that they, likewife, built a temple to it ; for " they purified and fanfti- 
fied themfelves in the gardens, behind the houfe, or temple of Achad." In 
Ifa. xvii. 8, we find they had fun-images, which the Hebrews called chum- 
manim y made to reprefent the fun, or for the honour and worfhip of it : and 
the Egyptians met yearly to worfhip in the temple of Beth-Shemefh, a houfe 
dedicated to the fun. Moil part of the old heathens adored all the celeftial 
orbs, efpecially the fun ; probably they firfl imagined its enlivening rays im 
mediately JiTued from the holy fire, light, and fpirit, who either refided in^. 
or was the identical fun. That idolatrous ceremony of the Jews., Jofiah 
utterly abolifhed about 640 years before our chriftian asra. The facred text 
fays, " He took away the horfes, which the kings of Judah had given to 
the fun, and he burned the chariots of the fun with fire." At Rhodes,, a 
neighbouring ifland to Judsea, they confecrated chariots to the fun, on acr 
count of his glorious fplendour and benign qualities. Macrobius tells us^ 
that the Aflyrians worfhipped Adad, or Achad, an idol of the fun ; and 
Strabo acquaints us, the Arabians paid divine homage to the fun, &c. But 
the Indian Americans pay only a civil regard to the fun : and- the more in 
telligent fort of them believe, that all the luminaries of the heavens are 
moved by the ftrong fixt laws of the great Author of nature, 

In 2 Kings xvii. 30, we read that the men of Babylon built Succoth-Bs- 
noth, " tents for young women ;" having confecrated a temple to Venus,, 
they fixed tents round it, where young women proftituted themfelves in ho 
nour of the goddefs. Herodotus, and other authors, are alfo fufficient 
witnefies on this point. Now, were the Amercains originally heathens, 
cr not of Ifrael, when they wandered there from captivity, in queft of' 

7 liberty,, 

notions of a Deity dtjfimilar to the heathens. 21 

liberty, or on any other accidental account, that vicious precedent was fo 
well calculated for America, where every place was a thick arbour, it is very 
improbable they mould have difcontinued it : But they are the very reverfe. 
To commit fuch acts of pollution, while they are performing any of their reli 
gious ceremonies, is deemed fo provoking an impiety, as to occafion even 
the fuppofed fmner to be excluded from all religious communion with the 
reft of the people. Or even was a man known to have gone in to his own. 
wife, during the time of their faftings, purifications, &c. he would alfo be 
feparated from them. There is this wide difference between the impure and 
obfcene religious ceremonies of the ancient heathens, and the yet penal, and 
drift purity of the natives of America. 

The heathens chofe fuch gods, as were moft fuitable to their inclinations,- 
and the fituation of their country. The warlike Greeks and Romans wor- 
fhipped Mars the god of war ; and the favage and more bloody Scythians, 
deified the Sword. The neighbouring heathens round Judsea, each built a 
temple to the fuppofed god that prefided over their land. Rimmon, was 
the Syrian god of pomegranates : and the Philiftines, 'likewife, erected a. 
temple to T)agon, who had firft taught them the ufe of wheat ;. which the 
Greeks and Romans changed into Ceres, the goddefs of corn, from the 
Hebrew, Geres, which fignifies grain. But the red Americans firmly be 
lieve, that their war-captains, and their reputed prophets, gain fuccefs over 
their enemies, and bring on feafonab-le rains, by the immediate reflection 
of the divine fire, co-operating with them. 

We are informed by Cicero, that the maritime Sidonians adored fijhes : 
and by the fragment of Sanchoniathon, that the Tynans wormipped the 
element of fire, and the <erial wind, as gods : probably having forgotten 
that the firft and laft names of the three celeftial cherubic emblems, only 
typified, the deity. Ancient hiftory irtforms us, that Zoroafter, who lived 
An. M. 3480, made light the emblem of good, and darknefs the fymbol 
of evil he taught an abhorrence of images, and inftructed his pupils to 
worfhip God, under the figurative likenels off re: but he afferted two con 
trary original principles ; the one of good, and the other of evil. He allowed 
no temples, but enjoined facrificing in the open air, and on the top of an 
hill. The ancient Perfians kept up their reputed holy fire, without fuffering 
it to be extinguifhed ; which their pretended fuccefibrs obferve with the- 

22 On the defccnt of the American Indians from the Jews. 

flricteft devotian, and affirm it has been burning, without the lead inter- 
mifiion, feveral thoufand years. But the Indian Americans are fo far from 
the idolatry of the Sidonians, that they efteem fifh only as they are ufeful to 
the fupport of human life , though one of their tribes is called the fifo : 
they are fo far from paying any religious worfhip to the aerial wind, 
like the Tyrians, that they often call the bleak north- wind, explicatively, 
very evil, and accurfed , which they probably, would not fay, if they de 
rived the great efteem they now have for the divine fire, from the aforefaid 
idolatrous nations: neither would they wilfully extinguish their old fire, 
before the annual facrifice is offered up, if, like the former heathens, they 
paid religious worfhip to the elementary fire ; for no fociety of people would 
kill their own gods, unlefs the papifts, who go farther, even to eat him. 
The Indians efteem the old year's fire, as a molt dangerous pollution, re 
garding only the fuppofed holy fire, which trie archi-magus annually renews 
for the people. 

They pay no religious worfhip to flocks, or flones, after the manner of 
the old eaftern pagans j neither do they worfhip any kind of images what- 
foever. And it deferves our notice, in a very particular manner, to invali 
date the idle dreams of the jeluitical fry of South-America, that none of 
all the various nations, from Hudfon's Bay to the Miffifippi, has ever 
been known, by our trading people, to attempt to make any image of the 
great Divine Being, whom they worfhip. This is confonant to the Jewifh 
oblervance of the fecond commandment, and directly contrary to the ufage 
of all the ancient heathen world, who made corporeal reprefentations of their 
deities and their conduct, is a reproach to many reputed chriftian temples, 
which are littered round with a crowd of ridiculous figures to reprefent 
God, fpurious angels, pretended faints, and notable villains. 

The facred penmen, and prophane writers, aflure us that the ancient hea 
thens had laicivious gods, particularly ns^SD, 2 Cbron.xv. 16. which was the 
abominable Priapus. But I never heard that any of our North-American In 
dians had images of any kind. There is a carved human ftatue of wood, to 
which, however, they pay no religious homage : It belongs to the head war- 
town of the upper Mufkohge country, and feems to have been originally de- 
figned to perpetuate the memory of fome diftinguifhed hero, who deferved 
well of his country j for, when their cu/eena, or bitter, black drink is about to 

7 be 

aver/ion to images* 23 

be drank in the fynedrion, they frequently, on common occafions, will bring 
it there, and honour it with the firft conch-fhell-full, by the hand of the chief 
religious attendant : and then they return it to its former place. It is ob- 
fervable, that the fame beloved waiter, or holy attendant, and his co-adju 
tant, equally obferve the fame ceremony to every perfon of reputed merit, 
in that quadrangular place. When I pail that way, circumftances did not 
allow me to view this fingular figure , but I am aflfured by feveral of the 
traders, who have frequently feen it, that the carving is modeft, and very 
neatly finifhed, not unworthy of a modern civilized artift. As no body of 
people we are acquainted with, have, in general, fo great a mare of flrong 
natural parts as thofe favages, .we may with a great deal of probability fup- 
pofe, that their tradition of the fecond commandment, prevented them from 
having one, not to fay the fame plentiful variety of images, or idols, 'as 
have the popifh countries. 

Notwithstanding they are all degenerating apace, on account of their 
great intercourfe with foreigners, and other concurring caufes ; I well 
remember, that, in the year 1746, one of the upper towns of the aforefaid 
Mufkohge, was fo exceedingly exafperated againft fome of our Chikkafah 
traders, for having, when in their cups, forcibly viewed" the naked nefs of 
one of their women, (who was reputed to be an hermaphrodite)v'that they 
were on the point of putting them to death, according to one of their old 
laws againft crimes of that kind. But feveral of us, aflifted by fome of the 
Koofah town, refcued them from their juft demerit. Connecting together 
thefe particulars, we can fcarcely defire a ftronger proof, that they have not 
been idolaters, fmce they firft came to America , much kfs, that they 
erected, and worfhipped any fuch lafcivious and obfcene idols, as the hea 
thens above recited. 

The Sidonians and Philiftines worfliipped Aflitaroth, in the figure of the 
celefiial luminaries , or, according to others, in the form of a Jheep : but the 
Americans r3ay the former, only, a civil regard, becaufe of the beneficial 
influence with which the deity hath impreffed them. And they reckon 
(beep as defpicable and helplefs, and apply the name to peribns in that pre 
dicament, although a ram was the animal emblem of power, with the an 
cient eaftern heathens. The Indians fometimes call a nafty fellow, 

24 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

kuffooma, " a {linking fheep," and " a goat." And yet a goat was one of 
the Egyptian deities , as likewife were all the creatures that bore wool ; on 
which account, the facred writers frequently term idols, " the hairy." The 
defpicable idea which the Indians affix to the fpecies, fhews they neither ufe 
it as a divine fymbol, nor have a defire of being named Dorcas, which, 
with the Hebrews, is a proper name, expreffive of a wild me goat. I mall 
fubjoin here, with regard to Amtaroth, or Aftarte, that though the ancients 
believed their deities to be immortal, yet they made to themfelves both male 
and female gods, and, by that means, Aftarte, and others, are of the fasmi- 
nine gender. Trifmegiftus too, and the Platonics, affirmed there was deus 
mafculo-faemineus ; though different fexes were needful for the procreation 
of human beings. 

Inftead of confulting fuch as the heathen oracles or theTeraphkn the 
Dii Penates or Dii Lares, of the ancients, concerning future contingencies, 
the Indians only pretend to divine from their dreams , which may proceed 
from the tradition they dill retain of the knowledge their anceflors obtained 
from heaven, in vifions of the night, Job xxxiii. " God fpeaketh once, yea 
twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vifion of the night, 
when deep fleep falleth upon men, in (lumberings upon the bed, then he 
openeth the ears of men, and fealeth their inftruclion." When we confider 
how well flocked with gods, all the neighbouring nations of Judaea were ; 
efpecially the maritime powers, fuch as Tyre and Sidon, Carthage and 
Egypt, which continually brought home foreign gods, and entered them into 
their own Palladia , and that thefe Americans are utterly ignorant both of the 
gods and their wormip, it proves, with fufficient evidence, that the gentle 
men, who trace them from either of thofe dates, only perplex themfelves 
in wild theory, without entering'into the merits of the queftion. 

As the lull was the firft terreftrial cherubic emblem^ denoting fire, the an 
cient Egyptians, in length of rime, worfhipped Apis, Serapis, or Ofiris, 
under the form of an ox-, but, when he grew old, they drowned him, and 
lamented his death in a mourning habit , which occafioned a philofopher 
thus to jeft them, Si Dii //, cur plangitis ? Si mortui, cur adoratis? " If 
they be gods, why do you weep for them ? And, if they are dead, why do 
you wormip them r" A bull, ox, cow, or calf, was the favourite deity of 


They pay no religious veneration to the dead. 25 

the ancient idolaters. Even when YOHEWAH was conducting Ifrael in the 
\vildernefs, Aaron was forced to allow them a golden calf, according to the 
ufage of the Egyptians : and at the defection of the ten tribes, they wor- 
fhipped before the emblematical images of two calves, through the policy 
of Jeroboam. The Troglodites ufed to ftrangle their aged, with a cow's 
tail : and fome of the Eaft-Indians are faid to fancy they mall be happy, by 
holding a cow's tail in their hand when dying : others imagine the Ganges 
to wafh away all their crimes and pollution. The Indian Americans, on the 
contrary, though they derive the name of cattle from part of the divine 
cffential name, (as (hall be elfewhere obferved) and ule the name of a 
buffalo as a war appellative, and the name of a tribe ; yet their regard to 
them, centres only in their ufefulnefs for the fupport of human life : and 
they believe they can perform their religious ablutions and purifications, in 
any deep clean water. 

The fuperflitious heathens, whom the Hebrews called, Tedonim, pretended 
that the bones of thofe they wormipped as gods when alive, revealed 
both prefent and future things, that were otherwife concealed : and the 
hieroglyphics, the prieftly legible images, which the Egyptians infcribed 
on the tombs of the deceafed, to praife their living virtue, and incite youth to 
imitate them, proved a great means of inducing them in procefs of time to 
worfhip their dead. But the Americans praife only the virtues of their dead, 
as fit copies of imitation for the living. They firmly believe that the hand 
of God cuts off the days of their dead friend, by his pre-determined pur- 
pofe. They are fo far from deifying fellow-creatures, that they prefer none 
of their own people, only according to the general flandard of reputed 

The Chinefe, likewife, though they call God by the appellative, Cham Ti^ 
and have their temples of a quadrangular form, yet they are grofs idolaters j 
like the ancient Egyptians, inftead of offering up religious oblations to the 
great Creator and Preferver of the univerfe, they pay them to the pictures of 
their deceafed anceftors, and erect temples to them, in folitary places without 
their cities likewife to the fun, moon, planets, fpirits, and inventors of 
arts; efpecially to the great Confucius, notwithftanding he ftrictly prohibited 
the like idolatrous rites. And the religious modes of the ancient inhabitants 

E of 

26 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

ofNiphon, or the Japanefe, are nearly the fame; which are diametrically 
oppofite to the religious tenets of the wild Americans. 

The diviners among the Philiftines pretended to foretel things, by the 
flying, chirping, and feeding of wild fowls. The Greeks and Romans called 
fowls, Nuncii Deorum. And Calchas is faid to have foretold to Aga 
memnon, by the number of fparrows which flew before him, how many 
years the Trojan war mould laft. The Afiyrians worfhipped pigeons, and 
bore the figure of them on their ftandards, as the facred oracles fhew us, 
where the anger of the pigeon, and the fword of the pigeon, points at the 
deftroying fword of the Afiyrians. But, though the American woods fwarm 
with a furprizing variety of beautiful wild fowl, yet the natives do not make 
the lead pretenfion to auguries. They know it is by a certain gift or 
inftinct, inferior to human reafon, that the birds have a fufficient knowledge 
of the feafons of the year. I once indeed obferved them to be intimidated 
at the voice of a fmall uncommon bird, when it pitched, and chirped on a 
tree over their war camp. But that is the only trace of fuch fuperftition, as 
I can recollect among them. Inftead of calling birds the mefiengers of the 
gods, they call the great eagle, Oeole , which feems to be an imitation of 
Eloha. This may be accounted for, from the eagle being one of the che 
rubic emblems, denoting the air, or fpirit. They efteem pigeons only as 
they are falutary food, and they kill the turtle-dove, though they apply it 
as a proper name to their female children. 

The Babylonians were much addicted to auguries : and they believed 
them to be unerring oracles, and able to direct them in doubtful and ar 
duous, things, Ezek. xxi. 21. Thofe auguries always directed their conduct, 
in every material thing they undertook ; fuch as the beginning and carrying 
on war, going a journey, marriage, and the like. But, as we mall foon 
fee, the Americans, when they go to war, prepare and fanctify themfelves, 
only by fading and ablutions, that they may not defile their fuppofed 
holy ark, and thereby incur the refentment of the Deity. And many of 
them firmly believe, that marriages are made above. If the Indian Ame 
ricans were defcended from any of the dates or people above mentioned, 
they could not well have forgotten, much lefs could they have fo efientially 
departed from their idolatrous worlhip. It is hence probable, they came here, 
7 foon; 

No traces of idolatry among them. 27 

foon after the captivity, when the religion of the Hebrew nation, reflecting 
the worihip of Deity, was in its purity. And if any of the ancient hea 
thens came with them, they became profelytes of habitation, or juftice 
hereby, their heathenifh rites and ceremonies were, in procefs of time, 
intirely abforbed in the religions ceremonies of the Jews. 

Had the nine tribes and half of Ifrael which were carried off by Shalma- 
nefer, King of AfTyria, and fettled in Media, continued there long, it is 
very probable, that by intermarrying with the natives, and from their natural 
ficklenefs and pronenefs to idolatry, and the force of example, they would 
have adopted, and bowed before the gods of the Medes and the Aflyrians, 
and carried them. along with them. But there. is not a trace of this idolatry 
among the Indians. The fevere afflictions they underwent in captivity, 
doubtlefs humbled their hearts, and reclaimed them from the fervice of 
the calves, and of Baalam, to the true divine worfhip a glimpfe of which 
they ftill retain. And that the firft fettlers came to America before the de- 
fir uct ion of the firft temple, may be inferred, as it is certain both from 
Philo and Jofephus, that the fecond temple had no cherubim. To reflect 
yet greater light on the fubject, I fhall here add a few obfervations on the 
Indians fuppofed religious cherubic emblems, the cherubimical names of 
their tribes, and from whence they, and the early heathens, may be fuppofed 
to have derived them. 

When the goodnefs of Deity induced him to promife a faviour to fallen 
man, in paradise, he ftationed flaming cherubim in the garden. The type I 
fhall leave , but when mankind became intirely corrupt, God renewed his 
promife to the Ifraelites, and to convey to pofterity the true divine worfhip, 
ordered them to fix in the tabernacle, and in Solomon's temple, cherubim^ 
over the mercy-feat, the very curtains which lined the walls, and the veil 
of the temple, likewife, were to have thofe figures. The cherubim are faicl 
to reprefent the names and offices of Tohewab Elobim, in redeeming loft man 
kind. The word DV1"D, is drawn from 3, a note of refemblance, and :n> 
a great or mighty one ; /. e. the " fimilitude of the great and mighty One," 
whofe emblems were the bull, the lion, the man, and the eagle. The pro 
phet Ezekiel has given us two draughts of the cherubim (certainly not 
without an inftructive defign) in hjs two vifions, defcribed in the firft 

E 2 and 

a 8 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews, 

and tenth chapters. In chap. x. ver. 2o r he afifures us that " he knew 
they were the cherubim." They were uniform, and had thofe four com 
pounded animal emblems; Every one had four faces D>:," appear 
ances, habits, or forms , which paiTage is illuftrated by the fimilar divine 
emblems on the four principal ftandards of Ifrael. The ftandard of Judah 
bore the image of a lion -, Ephraim's had the likenefs of a butt; Reuben's, 
had the figure of a man's head ; and Dan's carried the pifture of an eagle^. 
with a ferpent in his talons *: Each of the cherubim, according to the pro^ 
phet, had the head and face of a man the likenefs of an eagle, about the 
fhoulders, with expanded wings ; their necks, manes, and breafts, refem- 
bled thofe of a lion ; and their feet thofe of a bull, or calf. " The fole of 
their feet was like the fole of a calf's foot." One would conclude, from 
Ezekiel's vifions, and Pfal xviii. 10. Pf. xcix. i. " He rode upon a 
cherub, and did fly :" " The Lord reigneth, let the people tremble : he 
fitteth between the cherubim, let the earth be moved," that Elohim chofe 
the cherubic emblems, in condefcenfion to man, to difplay his tranfcendent 
glorious title of King of kings. We view him feated in his triumphal cha 
riot, and as in the midft of a formidable war camp, drawn by thofe four 
creatures, the bull, the lion, the man, and the eagle ; Urong and defcriptive 
Emblems of the divine effence. What animal is equal to the bull, or ox ; 
for ftrength,. indefatigable fervice, and alfo for food ? In eaftern countries, 
they were always ufed to plough, and beat out the grain, befides other 
fervices omitted in modern times -, the lion excels evefy other animal in, 
courage, force, and proweis : man far furpafles all other creatures, in un-- 
derftanding, judgment, and wifdom ; and there is no bird fo fagacious, or 
can fly fo fwift, or foar fo high as the eagle, or that bears fo intenie a love 
to its young ones.. 

Thefe are the emblems of the terreftrial cherubim : and the Pfalmift calls 
them Merabha Hafhekina, " The chariot of Divine Majefty :" " God fitteth 
between, and ridcth upon, the cherubim," or divine chariot. The cekjlial 
(berubim were/rc, light, and air, or fpirit, which were typified by the bull, the 
lion, and the eagle. Thofe divine emblems, in a long revolution of time, 

The MAN, which the lion on the ftandard of Judah, and the head on Reuben's, .typified. 
was, in the fukefs of time, united to the divine efience, 

7 induced 

Their religious cherubic emblems. 29- 

Induced the ancients by degrees, to divide them, and make images of the 
divine perfons, powers, and actions, which they typified, and to efteem 
them gods. They confecrated the bull's head to the fire, the lion's to light, 
and the eagle's to the air, which they worfhipped as gods. And, in pro 
portion as they loft the knowledge of the emblems, they multiplied and 
compounded their heads with thofe of different creatures. The Egyptians 
commonly put the head of a lion, hawk, or eagle, and fometimes that of 
a ram, or bull, to their images ; fome of which refernbled the human 
body. Their Apis, or Ofiris, gave rife to Aaron's, and apofiate- IfraePs, 
golden calf: and their fphynx had three heads. Diana of Ephefus was 
triformis ; Janus of Rome, biformis, and, fometimes, quadriformis j and 
Jupiter, Sol, Mercury, Proferpine, and Cerberus, were triple-headed. 

Hefiod tells us, the ancient heathens had no lefs than thirty thoufand 
gods. It is well known that the ancient heathens, efpecially the Greeks and. 
Romans, abounded with male and female deities ; and commonly in human 
effigy. As they imagined they could not fafely truft themfelves to the care 
of any one god, they therefore chofe a multiplicity. They multiplied and" 
changed them from childhood to old age. The Romans proceeded fo far, 
as to make Cloacina the guardian goddefs of each houfe-of-office. The hea 
thens in general, appointed one god to prefide over the land, and another 
over the water ; one for the mountains, and another for the valleys. And'- 
they were fo diffident of the power of their gods, that they chofe a god, or 
goddefs, for each part of the body ; contrary to the religious fyftem of their 
bed poets and philofophers, and that of the prefent favage Americans : the 
former affirmed, fapiens dommabitur aftris^ &c. ; " A wife, good man, will: 
always be ruled by divine reafon ; and not pretend to be drawn to this or 
that, by an over-bearing power of the ftars, or fortune :" and the latter 
afiert, " that temporal good or evil is the neceflary effect of their own con- 
dud ; and that the Deity prcfides over life and death." 

If the firft inftitution of the cherubic emblems was not religious, nor de 
rived from the compounded figures of the fcripture cherubim, how is it that 
fo many various nations of antiquity, and far remote from each other, mould 1 
have chofen them as gods, and fo exactly alike ? Is it not moft reafonable- 
o fuppofe, that as they loft the meaning of thofe fymbolical. figures,., andi 


r:> On the dcfcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

their archetypes, fire, light, and air, or fpirit, which reprefented the attri 
butes, names, and offices of Tobewab Elohim, they divided them into fo 
many various gods, and paid them divine worfhip. Yet, though the Indian 
Americans have the fuppofed cherubimical figures, in their fynhedria, and, 
through a ftrong religious principle, dance there, perhaps every winter's 
night, always in a bowing pofture, and frequently fing Halelu-Tah To HeWab, 
I could never perceive, nor be informed, that they fubftituted them, or the 
fimilitude of any thing whatfoever, as objects of divine adoration, in the 
room of the great invifible divine effence. They life the feathers of the 
eagle's tail, in certain friendly and religious dances, but the whole town will 
contribute, to the value of 200 deer-fkins, for killing a iarge eagle ; (the 
bald eagle they do not tfteem) ; and the man alfo gets an honourable title 
for the exploit, as if he had brought in the fcalp of an enemy. Now, if 
they reckoned the eagle a god, they would not only refufe perfonal profits, 
and honours, to him who killed it, but afiuredly inflict on him the fevereft 
punilhment, for committing fo atrocious and facrilegious an act. 

I have feen in feveral of the Indian fynhedria, two white painted eagles 
carved out of poplar wood, with their wings ftretched out, and railed five 
feet off the ground, (landing at the corner, clofe to their red and white 
imperial feats : and, on the inner fide of each of the deep-notched pieces of 
wood, where the eagles ftand, the Indians frequently paint, with a chalky 
clay, the figure of a man, with buffalo horns and that of a panther, with 
the fame colour; from which I conjecture, efpecially, connected with their 
other rites and cuftoms foon to be mentioned, that the former emblem was 
defigned to defcribe the divine attributes, as that bird excels the reft of the 
feathered kind, in various fuperior qualities ; and that the latter fymbol is a 
contraction of the cherubimical figures, the man, the bull, and the lion. 
And this opinion is corroborated by an eftablimed cuftom, both religious 
and martial, among them, which obliges them to paint thofe facred emblems 
anew, at the firft fruit-offering, or the annual expiation of fins. Every one 
of their war-leaders muft alfo make three fuccefsful wolfijh campaigns^ with 
their reputed holy ark, before he is admitted to wear a pair of a young 
buffalo-bull's horns on his forehead, or to fing the triumphal war fong, and 
to dance with the fame animal's tail flicking up behind him, while he fings 
To To, &c. 


Their religious cherubic emblems, 3 * 

Now we know it was an ufnal cuftom with the eaftern nations, to affix 
horns to their gods. The Sidonian goddefs Afhtaroth was horned : and 
Herodotus fays, the Egyptians painted their Venus, or Ifis, after the fame 
manner: and the Greek Jo, (which probably wasYo) had horns, in allufion 
to the bull's head, the chief emblem of the celeftial cherubic fire, repre- 
fenting Yo (He Wah) as its name plainly indicates. A horn was, like- 
wife, a Perfian emblem of power *. 

That the Indians derived thofe fymbolical reprefentations from the com 
pounded figures of the cherubim, feems yet more clear, from the prefent 
cherubic names of their tribes, and the pre-eminence they formerly bore 
over the reft. At prefent, indeed, the moil numerous tribe commonly 
bears the higheft command ; yet their old warriors allure us, it was not fo 
even within their own remembrance. The title of the old beloved men, or 
archi-magi^ is flill hereditary in the panther, or tyger family : As North- 
America breeds no lions, the panther, of any animal it contains, is the 
neareft emblem of it. The Indian name of each cherub, both terreftrial 
and celeftial, reflects great light on the prefent fubject \ for they call the 
buffalo (bull) Yanafa\ the panther, or fuppoied lion, Koe-IJhto> or Koe-O y 
" the cat of God >" the man, or human creature, Ta-we , and the eagle, 
Ooole ; fire is Loak -, the folar light, Afljtahale ; and air, Mabale > in allufion 
to >a, water, and Vtt, the omnipotent , the note of afpiration is inferted, to 
give the word a fuller and more vehement found. Their eagle and buffalo 
tribes referable two other cherubic names or emblems. They have one they 
call Spbdne, the meaning of which they have loft ; perhaps it might have 
fignified the man. 

Near to the red and white imperial feats, they have the reprefentation of" 
a full moon, and either a half moon, or a breaft-plate, raifed five or fix feet 
high at the front of the broad feats, and painted with chalky clay ; fome- 
times black paintings are intermixed. But, let it be noticed, that in the 

* The metaphorical expreffions, and emblematical reprefentations, of the law and the pro 
phets, are generally fuited to the ufages of the eaftern countries. And this metaphor, of a 
horn, is commonly fo ufed, through all the divine regifters,. multiplying the number of 
horns of the object they are defcribing, to denote its various, great, and perfeft power ; unlefs 
where feven is mentioned a number of perfection, as in, St. John's figurative,, magnificent,, 
and fublime defcription of CflrilK 


32 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

time of their moft religious exercifes, or their other friendly rejoicings there,, 
they do not pay the leaft adoration to any of thofe exprefllve emblems , nor 
feem to take any notice of them : which is the very reverie to the ufage of 
all the ancient heathen world. Hence one would conclude, that they not 
only brought with them the letter, but the meaning of thofe reputed che- 
rubimical figures, which were defigned to reprefent the infeparable attri 
butes of Tohewah. 

It is uriiverfally agreed, by the chriftian world, that every religious ob- 
fervance of the ancient heathens, which the Mofaic law approved of, was ac 
firft derived from divine appointment ; and as we are afiured in the firft 
pages of the faored oracles, concerning Cain, Gen. iv. 16. " that he went out 
from the pn 'fence of the Lord" we learn, that God, in that early ftate of the 
world', chofe a place for his more immediate pretence, p^3, his faces, ap 
pearances, or forms refiding in, or between, the cherubim. We may, there 
fore, reafonably conclude, from the various gods, and religious worfhip of 
the ancient heathens, and from the remaining divine emblems, and family 
names of the Indian Americans, that the former deduced thofe emblems 
they deifyed, from the compounded cherubim in paradiie : and that the 
Indians derived their cherubic figures, and names of tribes, from the cheru 
bim that covered the mercy-feat, in the tabernacle, and in Solomon's tem 
ple, alluded to and delineated in feveral parts of the facred oracles. 


Agreeable to the THEOCRACY, or divine government of Ifrael, the Indians 
think the Deity to be the immediate head of their ftate. 

All the nations of Indians are exceedingly intoxicated with religious pride, 
and have an inexpreflible contempt of the white people, unlefs we except 
thofe half-favage Europeans, who are become their profelytes. Nothings is 
the moft favourable name they give us, in their fet fpeeches : even the Indians 
who were formerly bred in amity with us, and in enmity to the French, 
jufed to call us, in their war orations, bottuk ookfroofe, " The accurfed peo 
ple." But they flatter themfelves with the name bottuk oretoopab, The be 
loved people," becaufe their fuppofed anceftors, as they affirm, were under 
the immediate government of the Deity, who was prefent with them, in a 


Their belief of being under a theocracy. 33 

very particular manner, and directed them by prophets ; while the reft of 
the world were aliens and out-laws to the covenant. 

When the arcki-magtts, or any one of their magi, is perfuading the people, 
at their religious folemnities to a ftrict: obfervance of the old beloved, or di 
vine fpeech, he always calls them, " The beloved," or holy people, agree 
able to the Hebrew epithet, Ammi^ during the theocracy of Ifrael : he urges 
them, with the greateft energy of expreffion he is capable of, a ftrong voice, 
and very expreffive geftures, to imitate the noble actions of their great and 
virtuous forefathers, which they performed, in a furprizing manner, by 
their holy things, and a Uriel obfervance of the old, beloved fpeech. 
Then, he flourifhes on their beloved land that flowed with milk and honey, 
telling them they had good, and the beft things in the greatefl plenty : 
and fpeaks largely of their prefent martial cuftoms, and religious rites, 
which they derived from their illuftrious predecefibrs, ftrictly charging 
them not to deviate, in the leaft, out of that old, beloved, beaten path, and 
they will furely meet with all the fuccefs that attended their beloved fore 

I have heard the fpeaker, on thefe occafions, after quoting the war 
actions of their diftinguiihed chieftains, who fell in battle, urging them as a, 
copy of imitation to the living affure the audience, that fuch a- death, in. 
defence of their beloved land, and beloved things, was far preferable to fome 
of their living pictures, that were only fpending a dying life, to the fhame 
and danger of the fociety, and of all their beloved things, while the others 
died by their virtue, and ftill continue a living copy. Then, to foften the 
thoughts of death, he tells them, they who died in battle are only gone to 
fleep with their beloved forefathers; (for they always collect the bones) * 
and mentions a common proverb they have, Neetak Intahab, " The days ap 
pointed, or allowed him, were finiflied." And this is their firm belief; for 
they affirm, that there is a certain fixt time, and place, when, and where, 
every one mult die, without any poflibility of averting it. They frequently 
fay, " Such a one was weighed on the path, and made to be light ;" 
afcribing life and death to God's unerring and particular providence ; 
which may be derived from a religious opinion, and proverb of the Hebrews, 
that " the divine care extended itfelf, from the horns of the unicorn, to 
the very feet of the lice.'* And the more refined part of the old heathens 
believed the like. The ancient Greeks and Romans, who were great copiers 

F of 

34 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

of the rites and cuftoms of the Jews, believed there were three deftinies who 
prefided over human life, and had each of them their particular office ; one 
held the diftaffof life, while another fpun the thread, and Atropos cut it off: 
a ftrong but wild picture of the divine fire, light, and fpirit. When Virgil 
is praifmg the extraordinary virtue of Ripheus, who was killed in defence 
of his native city, Troy, he adds, Diis dlter vifitm <?/, fubmitting to the 
good and wife providence of the gods, who thought fit to call him off the 
ftage. However, he feems to be perplexed on the fubject ; as he makes fate 
fometimes conditional ; 

Similis ft cur a fuijfef, 

Nee pater omnipotens Trojam nee fata vetabant 

" If the ufual proper care had been taken, neither Jupiter nor fate wouirf 
have hindered Troy from {landing at this time." But, if th.t time of 
dying was unalterably fixed, according to the Indian fyftesj,, or that of our 
fatalifts, how would its votaries reconcile the fcheaiS: of divine Providence ? 
which mull be in conformity to truth, reaibn, and goodnefs, and how 
explain the nature of moral good and evil t On their principle, felf-murder 
would be a necefiary act of a paffiv* being fet on work by the firft mover ; 
and his obligations would be proportionable, only to his powers and facul 
ties -, which would excufe the fuppofed criminal from any juft future punifh- 
ment for filicide. But religion, and true reafon, deny the premifes, and 
they themfelves will not own the confequence. 

It is their opinion of the THEOCRACY, or, that God chofe them out 
of all the reft of mankind, as his peculiar and beloved people, which ani 
mates both the white Jew, and the red American, with that fteady hatred 
againft all the world, except themfelves, and renders them hated or defpifed 
by all. The obftinacy of the former, in (hutting their eyes againft the facred 
oracles, which are very explicit ^ n d clear in the original text, and of which 
they were the truftees, incites both our pity and reproof; whereas the others 
firm adherence to, and ftrong retention of, the rites and cuftoms of their 
forefathers, only attract our admiration. 

The American Indians are fo far from being Atheifts, as fome godlefs 
Europeans have flattered themfelves, to excufe their own infidelity, that they 
have the great facred name of God, that defcribes his divine eflence, and 

7 b v> 

fkeirfrm belief of GocFs government of the 'world. 3 5 . 

by which he manifefted hirnfelf to Mofes and are firmly perfuaded they 
now live under the immediate government of the Deity. ' The afcenfion of 
the fmoke of their vidYim, as a fweet favour to Yobcwah, (of which hereafter) 
is a full proof to the contrary, as alfo that they worfhip God, in a fmoke 
and cloud, believing him to refide above the clouds, and in the element of 
the, fuppofed, holy annual fire. It is no way material to fix any certain 
place for the refidence of Him, who is omniprefent, and who fuftains every 
fyftem of beings. It is not eflential to future happinefs, whether we believe 
his chief place of abode is in c*eto tertio^ faradifo terrejlri, or element o igneo. 
God hath placed confcience in us for a monitor, witnefs, and judge. It is 
the guilty or innocent mind, that accufes, or excufes us, to Him. If any 
farther knowledge was required, it would be revealed i but St. Paul ftudi- 
oufly conceals the mylteries he faw in the empyreal heavens. 

The place of the divine refidence is commonly faid to be above the clouds \ 
but that is becaule of the diftance of the place, as well as our utter igno 
rance of the nature of Elohim's exiflence, the omniprefent fpirit of the uni- 
verfe. Our finite minds cannot comprehend a being who is infinite. This 
infcrutable labyrinth occafioned Simonides, a difcreet heathen poet and phi- 
lofopher, to requeft Hiero, King of Sicily, for feveral days fuccefiively, to 
grant him a longer time to deicribe the nature of the Deity ; and, at the end, 
to confefs ingenuoufly, that the farther he waded in that deep myftery, the 
more he funk out of his depth, and was lefs able to define it. 

If we trace Indian antiquities ever fo far, we {hall find that not one of 
them ever retained, or imbibed, atheiflical principles, except fuch whofe 
intereft as to futurity it notorioufly appeared to be whole practices made 
them tremble whenever they thought of a juft and avenging God : but thefc 
rare inftances were fo far from infecting the reft, that they were the more 
confirmed in the opinion, of not being able either to live or die well, without 
a God. And this all nature proclaims in every part of the univerfe. 


We have abundant evidence of the Jews believing in the miniftraticn of 
angels^ during the Old-Teftament difpenfation ; their frequent appearances, 
and their fervices, on earth, are recorded in the oracles, which the Jews 
themfclves receive as given by divine infpiration. And St. Paul in his 

F 2 epiftlc 

36 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jew. 

epiftle addrefled to the Hebrews, fpeaks of it as their general opinion, that 
" Angels are miniftring fpirits to the good and righteous on earth." And 
that it was the femiment of thofe Jews who embraced chriftianity, is evident 
from Afts xii. where an angel is faid to deliver Peter from his imprifonment, 
and when the maid reported that Peter flood at the gate knocking, his 
friends doubting, laid, " It is his angel." Women alfo are ordered to have 
their heads covered in religious affemblies, becaufe of the prefence of the 
angels, and to obferve filence, the modeft cuftom of the eaftern countries. 
The Indian fentiments and traditions are the fame. They believe the higher 
regions to be inhabited by good fpirits, whom they call Hottuk I/hpohoollo, 
and Nana JJhtohoollc^ " holy people," and " relations to the great, holy 
One." The Hottuk ookproofe, or Nana ookproofe, " accurfed people," or 
" accurfed beings," they fay, poflefs the dark regions of the weft ; the for 
mer attend, and favour the virtuous j and the latter, in like manner, accom 
pany and have power over the vicious : on which account, when any of their 
relations die, they immediately fire off feveral guns, by one, two, and three at 
a time, for fear of being plagued with the laft troublefome neighbours : all 
the adjacent towns alfo on the occafion, whoop and halloo at night ; for 
they reckon, this offenfive noife fends off the ghofts to their proper fixed 
place, till they return at fome certain time, to repofiefs their beloved tra<5l 
of land, and enjoy their terreftrial paradife. As they believe in God, fo they 
firmly believe that there is a clafs of higher beings than men, and a future 
ftate and exiftence.. 

There are not greater bigots in Europe;, nor perfons more fuperftitions, 
than the Indians, (efpecially the women) concerning the power of witches,, 
wizards, and evil .fpirits. It is the chief fubjefl of their idle winter night's 
chat : and both they, and feveral of our traders, report very incredible and 
{hocking ftories. They will affirm that they have feen, and diftindlly, mofi: 
furprizing apparitions, and heard horrid fhrieking noifes. They pretend, it 
was impofiible for all their fenfes to be deluded at the fame time ; efpecially 
at Okmulge, the old waftc town, belonging to the Mujkohge^ 150 miles S. W. 
of Augufta in Georgia, which the South-Carolinians deftroyed about the 
year 1715. They (trenuouQy aver, that when neceflity forces them to en 
camp there, they always hear, at the dawn of the morning, the ufual noife 
of Indians finging their joyful religious notes, and dancing, as if going 
down to the river to purify themfelves, and then returning to the old town- 
houfe : with a great deal more to the fame effecT:. Whenever I have been 


*beir belief of the exiftence and mintftra tion of angels. 37 

there, however, all hath been filent. Our noify bacchanalian company might 
indeed have drowned the noife with a greater of their own. But as I have 
gone the tedious Chikkaiah war path, through one continued defart, day and 
night, much oftener than any of the reft of the traders, and alone, to the 
Chikkafah country, fo none of thofe frightful fpirits ever appeared to, nor 
any tremendous aoife alarmed me. But they fay this was " becaufe I am 
an obdurate infidel that way." 

The Hebrews feem to have entertained notions pretty much refembling 
the Indian opinions on this head, from fome paflfages in their rabbins, and 
which they ground even on the fcriptures *. We read If a. xiii. 21. " But 
wild beafts of the defart mail lie there, and their houfes (hall be full of dole 
ful creatures, and owls mail dwell there, and fatyrs mall dance there -f-." 

Several warriors have told me, that their Nana IJhtohoclloy " concomitant 
holy fpirits," or angels, have forewarned them, as by intuition, of a dan 
gerous ambufcade, which muft have been attended with certain death, when 
they were alone, and feemingly out of danger j and by virtue of the im- 
pulfe, they immediately darted off, and, with extreme difficulty, efcaped the 
crafty, purfuing enemy. Similar to this, was the opinion of many of the Jews, 
and feveral of the ancient and refined heathens, "and is the fentiment of mo 
derns, that intimations of this kind, for man's prefervation and felicity > 
proceed from God by the inftru mentality of good angels, or fuperior invi- 
fible beings, which he employs for that purpofe who can fo imprefs the 
imagination, and influence the mind, as to follow the fuggeftions, but not fo 
as to deftroy the liberty of the will. Thus Homer introduces Minerva as 
fuggefting what was proper for the perfons me favoured and other fuperior 
beings , but they deliberated on the counfel, and chofe that which appeared 
to be right. 


' The Indian language, and dialefts, appear to have the very idiom and ge 
nius of the Hebrew. Their words and fentenccs are expreflive, concife, em- 

* Lev. xix. 31. r Sam. xxviii. 3, &c. Ifa. viii. 19. 

f Bochart fuppofes that tjiim fignify 'wild cats ; and that DTtitt is not any particular crea 
ture, but the crying or howling of wild beafis.. His opinion is confirmed by many judicious 

7 phatica]> 

o8 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

phatical, fonorous, and bold and often, both in letters and fignification, 
fynonymous with the Hebrew language. It is a common and aid remark, 
that there is no language, in which fome Hebrew words are not to be found. 
Probably Hebrew was the firft, and only language, till diftance of time and 
place introduced a change, and then foon followed a mixture of others. The 
accidental pofuion of the characters, might alfo coincide with fome Hebrew 
words, in various dialecls, without the leaft intention. As the true pronun 
ciation of the Hebrew characters, is loft in a confiderable degree, it is too 
difficult a tafk, for a fkilful Hebraift, to afcertain a fatisfactory identity of 
language, between the Jews, and American Aborigines ; much more fo to 
an Indian trader, who profefles but a fmall acquaintance with the Hebrew, 
and that acquired by his own application. However, I will endeavour to 
make up the deficiency of Hebrew, with a plenty of good folid Indian roots: 

The Indian nouns have neither cafes nor declenfions. They are invariably 
the fame, through both numbers, after the Hebrew manner. In their verbs, 
they likewife fometimes ufe the preterperfect, inftead of the prefent tenfe of 
the indicative mood ; as Blahfas Aiahre, Apeefahre, " Yefterday I went and 
faw i" and Eemmako Aiabre, Afeefabre, " Now I go and fee." Like the 
Hebrews, they have no comparative, or fuperlative degree. They exprefs 
a preference, by the oppofite extremes ; as Chekufteens, " You are virtuous;" 
Sahakfe, " I am vicious." But it implies a comparative degree, and figni- 
fies, " You are more virtuous than I am." By prefixing the adverbs, which 
exprefs little, and much, to the former words, it conveys the fame meaning , 
the former of which is agreeable to the Hebrew idiom. And a double re 
petition of the fame adiective, makes a fuperlative, according to the Hebrew 
manner , as Laiwwa, Lawwa, " moft, or very many." To add hah to the 
end of an adjective, unlefs it is a noim of multitude like the former, makes 
it alfo a fuperlative , as Hakfe to bah, " They are moft, or very wicked." 
Hakfe fignifies vicious, probably when the vicious part of the Ifraelites were 
under the hand of the corrector, the judge repeated that word : ta, is a note 
of plurality, and bob an Hebrew accent of admiration ; which makes it a 
fuperlative. To join the name of God, or the leading vowel of the myfte- 
rious, great, divine name, to the end of a noun, likewife implies a fuperla 
tive -, as Hakfe-ijhto, or Hakfe-o, " He, or fhe, is very wicked." The former 
method of fpeech exactly agrees with the Hebrew idiom ; as the original 
text (hews, in innumerable inftances. 


tfhe idiom and genius of their language. 39 

When the Hebrews compare two things, and would fignify a parity be 
tween them, they double the particle of refemblance j " I am as thou art ; 
and my people as thy people :" And the Indians, on account of that original 
defective ftandard of fpeech, are forced to ufe the like circumlocution -, 
as Che Akobafia^ " I am like you-," and Sahottuk Chthottuk tooah, &c. for 
Hottuk fignifies people, and the S expreffes the pronoun my, or mine : and 
it likewife changes an active, into a paffive verb. Although this Indian 
and Hebrew method of fpeech, is rather tedious and defective, yet, at the 
fame time, they who attain any tolerable (kill in the dialects of the one, 
and language of the other, will difcover the fenfe plain enough, when a 
comparifon is implied. 

There is not, perhaps, any one language or fpeech, except the Hebrew, 
and the Indian American, which has not a great many prepofuions. 
The Indians, like the Hebrews, have none in feparate and exprefs words. 
They are forced to join certain characters to words, in order to fupply that 
great defect. The Hebrew confonants, called ferviles, were tools to fupply 
the place of the prepofitions. The Indians, for want of a fufficient number 
of radical words, are forced to apply the fame noun and verb, to fignify 
many things of a various nature. With the Cheerake, Eeankke, fignifies a 
prifoner, captive, Jlave* awl, pin* neejlz, &c. v which occafions the Indian* 
dialects to be very difficult to flrangers. The Jewim Rabbins tell us, that 
the Hebrew language contains only a few more than a thoufand primitive 
words, of which their whole language is formed. So that the fame 
word very often denotes various, though not contrary things. But there is- 
one radical meaning, which will agree to every ienfe that word is ufed in. 

By cuftom, a Hebrew noun frequently fupplied the place of a pronoun ^ 
by which means, it caufed a tedious, and fometimes an ambiguous circum 
locution. From this original defective ftandard of fpeech, the Indians have 
forgotten all their pronouns, except two primitives and two relatives ; as, 
Anowab, Ego^ and IJbna y Tu : the latter bears a great many fignifications,. 
both as fingular and plural, viz. Eeapa and Eeako , which fignify he, fhe,, 
this, that, &c. : And they are likewife adverbs of place , as here, there, &c. 
NlPl Hewa, fignifies he or ihe ; "ON Ani t we ; and ijji, diwwa, he, Ihe,, 
him, her, &c. 


40 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

The Hebrew language frequently ufes hyperboles, or magnifying num 
bers, to denote a long fpace of time : the Indians, accordingly, apply the 
words, Neetak akroobab, " all days," or, in other words, " for ever," to a 
long feries of years. With the Jews, fitting, fignined dwelling ; and, 
with the Indians, it is the very fame-, for, when they afk a peribn where 
he dwells, they fay, Katemuk IJhbenede (chuak .?), which is literally, " where 
do you fit ? " And when they call us irreligious, they fay Nana U-bat, " No 
thing" or literally, " a relation to nothing ;" for Nana fignifies a relation : 
and the other is always a negative adverbial period ; which feems alfo to 
proceed from a religious cuftom of the Hebrews, in giving defpicable bor 
rowed names to idols ; as to D^JO, Baalim, " Particles of air," meaning, no 
thing. To which the Pfalmift alludes, faying, " I will not take up their 
names in my lips." And St. Paul fays, " We know that an idol is nothing." 
This exprefiion the Indians apply, in a pointed metaphor, to the white peo 
ple, but never to each other. 

Like the Hebrews, they feldom, if ever, double the liquid confonant R ; 
for they generally feem defirous of muffling over it, at any rate : And they 
often give it the found of L , but, if it precedes a word, where the other 
confonant foon follows, they always give it its proper found, contrary to 
the ufage of the Chinefe : as the name of a ftone, they often call, Tak/e^ 
inftead of Tahre , but the Indians fay, " Tahre lakkana, literally, " Yellow 
ftone," /'. e. gold. 

The Hebrews fubjoined one of their ferviles, to words, to exprefs the 
pronoun relative, thy or thine: And as that particle was alfo a note of re- 
femblance, it Ihews the great flerility of that language. As a fpecimen 
They faid "plN, (Abiche) " your father," and -pN, (Ameche) " Your 
mother," &c. Only that the Hebrew period is initial, in fuch a cafe, to the 
Indian nouns, they always ufe the very fame method of expreflion. This I 
(hall illuftrate with two words in the dialects of the Chikkafah and Chee- 
rake as Chinge and Cbatokta, " your father ;" Angge and Aketchta figni- 
fying " my father," in relemblance of IK, Abba, of the fame import j like- 
wife Chijhke and Chacheeah, " your mother ;" for Sa/ke and Akachee fignify 
*' my mother," in imitation of rftPH, A/he. Alfo SasKijh fignifies podex meus, 
Cbijh Ki/b, podcx tuns, and Kijb Kijh, podex illius ; which I guefs to be an 


idiom of their language. 41 

opprobrious allufion to Kifh the father of Saul, for the fon's afiuming the 
throne at the end of the Jewifh theocracy. In their adjectives and verbs, they 
ufe the fame method of fpeech; as Nahoorefo Cbin-Chookoma^ " Your book is 
good." The former word is compounded of N3 (Na) now, or the prefent 
time, and Hoorefo, delineated, marked, or painted. Aia fignifies to go, and 
Maia-Cha^ " Go along," or Maia, the fame ; for, by prefixing D to it, it im 
plies a requifite obedience. In like manner, Apeefah^ to fee, and Peesacha^ look, 
or " fee you." And, when that particle is prefixed to a verb, it always exprefles 
the accufative cafe of the fame pronoun j as Cbepeefabre, " I faw you," and 
Chepeefahras, " I mall fee you." Each of the Hebrew characters are radicals ; 
although half of them are ferviles, according to that proper term of the 
fcholiafts , for, when they are prefixed, inferted, or fubjoined, either at the 
beginning, middle, or end of a radical word, they ferve to form its various 
augments, inflexions, and derivatives. According to this difficult ftandard 
of fpeech, the Indian nouns, moods, and tenfes, are varioufly formed to ex- 
prefs different things. As there is no other known language or dialect, 
which has the fame tedious, narrow, and difficult principles , muft we not 
confider them to be twin-born filters ? The want of proper (kill to obferve 
the original fixed idea of the Indian words, their radical letters, and the due- 
founds in each of them, feems to have been the only reafon why the writers 
on the American Aborigines, have not exhibited the true and genuine pro 
perties of any one of their dialects ; as they are all uniform in principle : 
fo far at leaft, as an extenfive acquaintance reaches. 

The Hebrew nouns are either derived from verbs, or both of them arc 
one and the fame ; as ro~O, (Beroche) " BlefTing," from "pi, (Beroch) 
" to blefs," and m 111, (Dabar Daber) " he fpoke the fpeech." This 
proper name fignifies " loquacious," like the Indian Sekaket, fignifying the 
" grafshopper." The Indian method of expreffion, exactly agrees with 
that Hebrew mode of fpeech ; for they fay Anumlole Anumboh (kis} " I 
fpake the fpeaking ," and AnnwloU Enumbole (kis\ " he fpoke the fpeak- 
ing, or fpeech." And by inferting the name of God between thefe two 
words, their meaning is the very fame with thofe two firft Hebrew words. 
I mail fubjoin another word of the fame fort Hookfeeleta fignifies " a mut- 
ting inftrument ;" and they fay Ifljtookjeelcta.. or Hookfeeleta, Ifo-hockfeetas* 
or Hookfeeta Cha, " You fhall, or, (hut you the door." Their period of the 
Jail word, always denotes the fecond perfon fingular of the imperative mood; 

G and 

4.2 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews, 

and that of the other preceding it, either the firft or fecond perfon fingular of 
the indicative mood -, which is formed fo by a fixed rule, on account of the 
variegating power of the ferviles, by affixing, inferring, or fuffixing them, to 
any root. According to the ufage of the Hebrews, they always place the 
accufative cafe alfo before the verb ; as in the former Indian words. 

With the Hebrews, nbsn fignified " a prayer," or a religious invocation, 
derived from n^3, Phelac, " to pray to, or invoke the Deity." In a ftrong 
refemblance thereof, when the Indians are performing their facred dance, 
with the eagles tails, and with great earneftnefs invoking To He Wah to 
blefs them with fuccefs and profperity, Phale fignifies, " waving," or in 
voking by waving, Ifhphale, you wave, Phalecha, wave you, Aphalale, I 
waved, Aphatilas, I will wave, &c. Pfalmodifts feem to have borrowed the 
notes fa, la, from the aforefaid Hebrew words of praying, finging to, or 
invoking Elohim. by3, (Phoole) " to work," is evidently drawn from the 
former Hebrew word, which fignifies to invoke (and probably to wave the 
feathers of the cherubic eagle before) To He Wah. The greateft part of the 
Levitical method of worfhipping, confifted in laborious mechanical exercifes, 
much after the Indian manner; which the popilh priefts copy after, in a 
great many inftances, as pulling off their clothes, and putting on others ; 
imagining that the Deity is better pleafed with perfons who variegate their 
external appearances, like Proteus, than with thofe who worfhip with a fteady, 
fmcere difpofition of mind ; befides a prodigious group of other fuperftitious 
ceremonies, which are often mamefully blended with thofe of the old 

As the Hebrew word *O, Na, fignifies the prefent time fo when the 
Indians defire a perfon to receive fomething from them fpeedily, they fay, 
Na (mort and gutturally) eefcba, " take it, now." He replies Unfa, or 
Omeb, which are good-natured affirmatives. The pronoun relative, " you," 
which they term IJhna, is a compounded Hebrew word, fignifying (by ap 
plication) the perfon prefent, or " you." 

With the Hebrews, in -\n, Hara Hara, fignifies, " moft, or very, hot ;" 

the repetition of the word makes it a fuperlative. In a ftrict refemblance of 

that word, and mode of fpeech, when an Indian is baffled by any of their 

7 humorous 

The idiom and fimllarity of their language. 43 

humorous wits, he fays, in a loud jefting manner, Hara Hara, or Halo, 
Hala, according to their capacity of pronouncing the liquid R : and it fig- 
nifies, " you are very hot upon me :" their word, which exprefles " fharp," 
conveys the idea of bitter-heartednefs with them j and that of bitternefs 
they apply only to the objects of tafte. 

With the Cheerake, Chikkafah, and Choktah Indians, Nanne fignifies 
" a hill :" and Nanneb^ with the two laft- mentioned nations, " a fifti ;" and 
Unchaba, " a mountain." , But they call an alligator, or crocodile, Nanntb 
Chuncbaba, literally, " the fifh like a mountain ;" which the Englifh lan 
guage would abbreviate into the name of a mountain -fifh j but, inftead of a 
hyphen, they ufe the Hebrew D, a note of refemblance, which feems to 
point at the language from which they derived it. In like manner, Aa 
fignifies to walk, and Eette, wood -, but Eette Cbanaa, any kind of wheel ; 
which is confonant to the aforefaid Hebrew idiom -, with many others of the 
like nature : but a fpecimen of this fort muft fuffice. 

The Hebrew and Indian words, which exprefs delineating, writing, decy- 
phering, marking, and painting, convey the fame literal meaning in both 
languages "fas Exod. xvii. 14. 1310 n/O (Cbetheba Sepbare} " delineate this 
with delineations ," and, with the Indians, Hcorefo is, in like manner, the 
radical name of books, delineating, &c. ; and Ootebna that for numbering, 
inftead of reading. The neareft approach they can make to it, is, .Anumlok 
boorefo IJhanumbolas, " You fhall fpeak the fpeech, which is delineated." 

They call a razor, Bafpoo Sbapbe, " A {having knife :" and Sbapbe always 
fignifies to fhave , probably, becaufe when they firft began to fhave them- 
felves, they were ridiculed by the higher, or more religious part of the peo 
ple, for imitating that heathenifli cuftom. The Hebrew HDttf (Shaphe) 
fignifying lip, confefilon, or worfhip; which divine writ aflures us, the de- 
fcendants of Noah changed, when they oppofed the divine will of fettling 
various parts of the earth, and built the great tower of Babel, as an emblem 
of greatnefs, to get them a name *. 

* Skin fignifies an eye ; and Skeejkaph<t) one-eyed ; as if proceeding from the divine anger. 
They often change i into ee, 

G 2 Look 

44 On tie defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

Leak fignifies fire, and Leak IJhtoboollo t " the holy or divine fire," or the 
anger of Ifhtohoollo, " the great, holy One ;" which nearly agrees with 
the Hebrew Z3r6, that which flames, or fcorches with vehement heat. And* 
ic is the fcripture method of conveying to us a fenfible idea of the divine 
wrath, according to the cherubic name ttfN, which likewife fignifies fire, 
But the Perfians worfhipped the burning fire, by the name of Oromazes ; 
and darknefs, or the fpirit, by that of Aramanms ; quite contrary to the re 
ligious fyftem of the Indian Americans : and the aforefaid Indian method' 
of expreflion, feems exactly to coincide with the Hebrew idiom*. 

Buk-Jhe-ah-tna is the name of their Indian flap, or broad (lip of cloth, 
with which the men cover their nakednds ; but the word they ufe to ex- 
prefs our fort of breeches, is a compound, Balaphooka^ derived from 
the Hebrew "?tf2, which fignifies, behind; and the Indian Napbooka, a coat, 
any kind of clothes, or covering^ Baloka fignifies, behind; filently telling 
us, they formerly wore a different fort of breeches to what they ufe at pre- 
fent. They likewife fay, Neeppe-Phii-ka, " A flem-covering." 

The father of King Saul was called Kim, " podex ;" which fignifies alfo the 
rear of an army, or the hindermoft perfon, according to the Hebrew idiom. 
Thus the Indians, by Rift), exprcfs the podex of any animal the hindermoft 
perfon the gavel-end of an houfe, and the like. Kijh Kifb^ is with them a 
jfuperlative, and, as before hinted, ufed to convey the contempt they have 
for that proper name. May not the comemptible idea the Weft-Florida- 
Mifiifippi Indians affix to the name of Kim, be on account of his fon's fuc- 
ceffion to the throne, at the end of the theocracy of Ifrael, and beginning a 
defpotic regal government ? 

The Indians, according to the ufage of the Hebrews, always prefix the 
fubftantive to the adjeftive ; as Netak Cbookoma, " A good day ;" Nakkane 
and Eho Cbookbma, " A good, or goodly man and woman." The former 
of which is termed, in Hebrew, Toma To&e, fignifying, according to our 
method of falutation, a good-day, a merry feafon, a feftival day, &c. And 
the Indian appellatives are fimilarly expreft in Hebrew, Bebtobe and A/he- 
fobe, " A good, goodly, difcreet, or wife man and woman." Cbookbma* 
with the Indians, is the proper name of a comely woman, when A is prefixed 
to if, as A-cbookbma y My goodly, or beautiful :" they ufe it for a warrior* 


Their names of the Deity* 45 

when it is compounded without the A ; as Chookoma hummajhtabe, " One 
who killed a beautiful, great, red, or war-chieftain ;" which is compounded 
of Chookoma, comely, Humma, red, ttftf, Aft), fire, and yffo, a contraction 
of*?!i# 9 jf&ek, fignifying grief, or forrow. Hence it appears, that becaufe 
the Hebrews affixed a virtuous idea to fobe, goodly ; the Indians call white 
by the fame name, and make it the conftant emblem of every thing that is 
good, according to a fimilar Hebrew cuftom. Of this the facred oracles 
make frequent mention. 

The Jews called that, which was the moft excellent of every thing, the 
fat ; and the Indians, in like manner, fay, Oofto Neehe, " The fat of the 
pompion," Tranche Neehe, " The fat of the corn. Neeha is the adjective, 
fignifying fat, from which the word Necta, " a bear," is derived. They 
apply the word heart, only to animate beings. 

As the Deity is the foul of every fyftem and as every nation, from the 
remoteft ages of antiquity, believed that they could not live well, without 
fome god or other -, when, therefore, we clearly underftand the name, or 
names, by which any fociety of people exprefs their notions of a deity, we 
can with more precifion form ideas of the nature of their religious worfhip, 
and of the object, or objects, of their adoration. I fhall therefore here give 
a plain defcription of the names by which the Indian Americans fpeak of 

IJhtohootto is an appellative for God. Ifhtohoollo points at the grear- 
nefs, purity, and goodnefs, of rhe Creator in forming w$ and iWN : 
it is derived from IJhto, GREAT, which was the ufual name of God 
through all the prophetic writings \ likewife, from the prefent tenfe of 
the infinitive mood of the active verb, Ahoollo, " I love," and from the 
prefer tenfe of the palfive verb, lioollo, which fignifies " fanctifying, 
fanctified, divine, or holy." Women fet apart, they term, Haotto, /. e.. 
fanctifying themfelves to Ifhtohoollo : likewife, Netakhoollo fignifies " a fanc 
tified, divine, or holy day ," and, in like manner, Ookka Hoollo, " water 
fanctified," &c. So that, Jfotohoollo, when applied to God, in its true radical 
meaning, imports, " The great, beloved, holy Caufe j" which is exceedingly 
comprehenfive, and more expreflive of the true nature of God, than the He 
brew name Adonai, which is applicable to a human being. Whenever the 


46 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

Indians apply the epithet, compounded, to any of their own religious men, 
it fjgnifies the great, holy, beloved, and fanctified men of the Holy One. 

They make this divine name point yet more ftrongly to the fupreme 
author of nature , for, as aN, fignifies father j and as the omniprefent 
Spirit of the univerfe, or the holy father of mankind, is faid to dwell above, 
they therefore call the immenfe fpace of the heavens, Aba, Abafe, and 
Abatara : and, to diftinguifh the King of kings, by his attributes, from 
their own Minggo Ifnto, or great chieftains, they frequently name him 
Minggo Ijhto Aba, &c. ; Ifhto Aba, &c. , Minggo Aba, &c. ; and, when they 
are ftriving to move the paffions of the audience, IJhtoboollo Aba. The He 
brew fervants were not allowed to call their matter or miftrefs 2$, Abba, 
till they were adopted; to which cuftom St. Paul alludes, Rom. viii. 15. 

They have another appellative, which with them is the myfterious, efien- 
tial name of God the tetragrammaton, or great four-lettered name which 
they never mention in common fpeech, of the time and place, when, and 
where, they mention it, they are very particular, and always with a folemn 

There is a fpecies of tea, that grows fpontaneoufly, and in great plenty, 
along the fea-coaft of the two Carolinas, Georgia, and Eaft and Weft-Florida, 
which we call Topon, or Cuffeena : the Indians tranfplant, and are ex 
tremely fond of it ; they drink it on certain ftated occafions, and in their 
moft religious folemnities, with awful invocations : but the women, and chil 
dren, and thofe who have not fuccefsfully accompanied their holy ark, pro 
Aris et Focis, dare not even enter the facred fquare, when they are on this 
religious duty ; otherwife, they would be dry fcratched with fnakes teeth, 
fixed in the middle of a fplit reed, or piece of wood, without the privilege 
of warm water to fupple the ftiffened ikin. 

When this beloved liquid, or fuppofed holy drink-offering, is fully 
prepared, and fit to be drank, one of their Magi brings two old confecrated, 
large conch-fhells, out of a place appropriated for containing the holy things, 
and delivers them into the hands of two religious attendants, who, after a 
wild ceremony, fill them with the fuppofed fanftifying, bitter liquid : then 
they approach near to the two central red and white feats, (which the 


Vbeir names of the Deity. 47 

traders call the war, and beloved cabbins) (looping with their heads and 
bodies pretty low ; advancing a few fteps in this pofture, they carry their 
fhells with both hands, at an inftant, to one of the moft principal men on 
thofe red and white feats, faying, on a bafs key, Y'AH, quite fhort : then, 
in like manner, they retreat backward, facing each other, with their heads 
bowing forward, their arms acrofs, rather below their breaft, and their 
eyes half fhut , thus, in a very grave, folemn manner, they fing on a ftrong 
bafs key, the awful monofyllable, O, for the fpace of a minute : then they 
flrike up majeftic HE, on the treble, with a very intent voice, as long as 
their breath allows them ; and on a bafs key, with a bold voice, and fhort 
accent, they at laft utter the ftrong myfterious found, WAH, and thus finifh 
the great fong, or moft folemn invocation of the divine eflence. The notes 
together compofe their facred, myfterious name, Y-O-H 

~ That this feems to be the true Hebrew pronunciation of the divine effen- 
tial name, mjT, JEHOVAH, will appear more obvious from the found they 
feem to have given their characters. The Greeks, who chiefly copied their 
alphabet from the Hebrew, had not^W, but icra, very nearly refembling the 
found of our T. The ancient Teutonic and Sclavonian dialects, have Tab as 
an affirmative, and ufe the confonant /F"inftead of F. The high importance 
of the fubjecl, neceffarily would lead thefe fuppofed red Hebrews, when fe- 
parated from other people in America, to continue to repeat the favourite 
name of God, YO HE WAH, according to the ancient pronunciation. -^ _ 

Contrary to the ufage of all the ancient heathen world, the American In 
dians not only name God by feveral ftrong compounded appellatives, ex- 
prefllve of many of his divine attributes, but likewife fay YAH at the 
beginning of their religious dances, with a bowing pofture of body ; then 
they fing Yo Yo, HE HE, and repeat thole facred notes, on every reli 
gious occafion : the religious attendants calling to YAH to enable them 
humbly to fupplicate, feems to point to the Hebrew cuftom of pronouncing, 
n% Tabi which likewife fignifies the divine eflence. It is well known 
what facred regard the Jews had to the four- lettered divine name, fo as 
fcarcely ever to mention it, but once a year, when the high-prieft went into 
the holy fanctuary, at the expiation of fins. Might not the Indians copy 
from them, this facred invocation ? Their method of invoking God, in a 


48 On the defcent of tie American Indians from the yews. 

folemn hymn, with that reverential deportment, and fpending a full breath 
on each of the two firft fyllables of the awful divine name, hath a furpriz- 
ing analogy to the Jewifli cuftom, and fuch as no other nation or people, 
even with the advantage of written records, have retained. 

It may be worthy of notice, that they never proftrate themfelves, nor bow 
their bodies, to each other, by way of falute, or homage, though ufual with 
the eaftern nations, except when they are making or renewing peace with 
itranoers, who come in the name of YAH -, then they bow their bodies in 
that religious folemnity but they always bow in their religious dances, 
becaufe then they fing what they call divine hymns, chiefly compofed of the 
great, beloved, divine name, and addreffed to Yo HE WA. The favoured 
perfons, whom the religious attendants are invoking the divine eflence to 
blefs, hold up the fhells with both hands, to their mouths, during the awful 
facred invocation, and retain a mouthful of the drink, to fpirt out on the 
ground, as a fuppofed drink-offering to the great felf-exiftent Giver ; which 
they offer at the end of their draught. If any of the traders, who at thofe 
times are invited to drink with them, were to neglect: this religious obferv- 
ance, they would reckon us as godlefs and wild as the wolves of the defart * 
After the fame manner, the fuppofed holy waiters proceed, from the higheit 
to the lowed, in their fynedrion : and, when they have ended that awful fo 
lemnity, they go round the whole fquare, or quadrangular place, and col 
lect tobacco from the fanflified finners, according to ancient cuftom j " For 
they who ferve at the altar, muft live by the altar.'* 

The Cheerake method of adjuring a witnefs to declare the truth, ftrongly 
corroborates the former hints, and will ferve as a key to open the vowels 
of the great, myfterious, four-lettered name of God. On fmall affairs, the 
judge, who is an elderly chieftain, alks the witnefs, Cheeakohga (Jko ?} " Do 
you lie ?" To which he anfwers, Anfa Kai-e-kob-ga, " I do not lie." But 

* The Mofaic law injoined the offering of libations ; as Exod. xxix. and Numl. xv. And 
the heathens, efpecially the ancient Greeks and Romans, mimicked a great deal of the Mofaic 
inftiturion. They obferved the like ceremonies in their idolatrous facrifices. The priefts 
only tafted, and then fpilt fome wine, rnilk, or other liquor, in honour of the Deity, to 
whom the facrifice was offered. Alexander is faid to have facrificed a bull to Neptune, and 
to have thrown a golden veflel ufed for the libation, into the fea. 

7 when 

Their manner of adjuration. 49 

when the judge will fearch into fomething of material confequence, and ad 
jures the witnels to fpeak the naked truth, concerning the point in queftion, 
he fays " O E A (Jko . ? J" " What you have now faid, is it true, by this 
ftrong emblem of the beloved name of the great felf-exiftent God ?" 
To which the witnefs replies, O E A, " It is true, by this ftrong pointing 
fymbol of YO HE WAH." When the true knowledge of the affair in dif- 
pute, feems to be of very great importance, the judge fwears the witnefs 
thus : O E A YAH (Jko ?) This moft facred adjuration imports, " Have 
you now told me the real truth by the lively type of the great awful name 
of God, which defcribes his necefiary exiftence, without beginning or end ; 
and by his felf-exiftent literal name, in which I adjure you." The witnefs 
anfwers, O E A YAH, " I have told you the naked truth, which I moft 
folemnly fwear, by this ftrong religious picture of the adorable, great, di 
vine, felf-exiftent name, which we are not to prophane; and I likewife atteft 
it, by his other beloved, unfpeakable, facred, eflential name." 

When we confider that the period of the adjurations, according to their 
idiom, only afks a queftion ; and that the religious waiters fay YAH, with a 
profound reverence, in a bowing pofture of body, immediately before they 
invoke YO HE WAH, the one reflects fo much light upon the other, as 
to convince me, that the Hebrews, both invoked and pronounced the divine 
tetragrammaton, YO HE WAH, and adjured their witnefTes to give true 
evidence, on certain occafions, according to the Indian ufage ; otherwife, 
how could they pofiibly, in a favage ftate, have a cuftom of fo nice and 
ftrong-pointing a ftandard of religious caution ? It feems exactly to coincide 
with the conduct of the Hebrew witnefles even now on the like religious 
occafions who being fworn, by the name of the great living God, openly 
to declare the naked truth, hold up their right hand, and anfwer, 3DN 
JDK, Amen Amen, or " very true ," " I am a moft faithful witnefs." The 
Hebrew word fignifies faithful, and by being repeated twice, becomes a fu- 
perlative, and O E A YAH is one of the higheft degree. 

St. John, in his gofpel, according to the Hebrew method of adjuration, 
often doubles the Amen. And the fame divine writer, at the beginning of 
each of his feven epiftles, in defcribing the glorious and tranfcendant qua 
lities of Jefus Chrift, and particularly in the epiftle to the church of 
Laodicea, points at the fame cuftom, " Thefe things faith the Amen^ the 
faithful and true witnefs, the beginning of the creation of God," 

H The 

50 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

The Cheerake ufe another expreffion, which bears a ftrong analogy to the 
former method of adjuration , though it is not fo facred in their opinion, 
becaufe of one letter prefixed, and another fubjoined. The judge, in fmall 
controverfies, afks the witnefs, fo e u (Jko ?) To which he anfwers, fo e u, 
vrfoeu bab 9 " It is very true," or " a mod certain truth." Such an ad 
dition of any letter, or letters, to the vowels of the fuppofed divine, four- 
lettered name, feems to proceed from a ftrift religious cuftom of propor 
tioning them to the circumftances of perfons and things, left, otherwife, 
they mould blafpheme, or prophane the emblems of the great divine name. 
And the vowel U feems to allude to "rriN, i. e. ONE a name of God, 
figuratively for, in their dialect, when it is a period, it makes a fuperla- 
tive, according to their ufage in applying the reft of the divine appella 
tives, fymbols, or names. 

They efteem fo e u hah fo ftrong an afient to any thing fpoken, that\ 
Cheefto Kaiehre, " the old rabbet," (the name of the interpreter) who for 
merly accompanied feven of their head warriors to London, aflured me, they 
held there a very hot debate, in their fubterranean lodgings, in the dead 
hours of the night of September the 7th, 1730, whether they mould not 
kill him, and one of the war-chieftains, becaufe, by his mouth, the other 
anfwered fo e u hah to his Majefty's fpeech, wherein he claimed, not only 
their land, but all the other unconqnered countries of the neighbouring 
nations, as his right and property. When they returned home, they were 
tried again, by the national fanhedrim, for having betrayed the public faith, 
and fold their country, for acknowledged value, by firm compact, as repre- 
fentatives of their country ; they having received a certain quantity of goods, 
and a decoying belt of white wampum : but, upon ferious deliberation, 
they were honourably acquitted, becaufe it was judged, the interpreter was 
bound, by the like oath, to explain their fpeeches ; and that furprife, inad 
vertence, felf-love, and the unufual glittering (how of the courtiers, cxtoned 
the facred aflent, fo e u hah, out of the other's mouth, which fpoiled the 
force of it , being much afraid, left they fhould fay fomething amifs, on 
account of the different idiom of the EngHm, and Indian American dia 
lects *. As there is no alternative between a failhood, and a lie, they 


* The ftrong fentiments, natural wit, and intenfe love of liberty, which the Indians (hew 
themfelves pott'eHed of, in a high degree, Ihould direft our colonifts to purfue a different me 

manner of adjuration. $ \ 

ufually tell any perfon, in plain language, " You lie," as a friendly negative 
to his reputed untruth. The cheerful, inoffenfive old rabbet told me, he 
had urged to them, with a great deal of earneftnefs, that it was certain 
death by our laws, to give his Majefty the lie to his face ; and cautioned 
them to guard their mouths very ftrongly from uttering fuch dangerous 
language : otherwife, their hearts would become very heavy, and even 
forrowful to death ; as he would be bound as firmly by our holy books, to 
relate the bare naked truth, as they were by repeating To e u ab> or even 

The Chikkafah and Choktah method of adjuring a witnefs to give true 
evidence, is fomething fimilar to the former atteftation, by -To g u hah : when 
they aik them, whether they do not lie, they adjure them thus, Chikloo/ka 
ke-c-u Chua ? The termination implies a queftion of the fecond perfon, fin- 
gular number, and the whole oath fignifies literally, " Do not you lie ? Do 
you not, of a certain truth ?" To which he anfwers by two ftrong nega 
tive afieverations, Akloojka Ke-e-u-que-Ho, " I do not lie ; I do not, of a 
certain truth." When the Choktah are averring any thing afked of them, 
they aflert it, by faying YAH. This mews their ignorance of the vowels of 
the fuppofed divine four-lettered name, in comparifon of the Cheerake ; 
and that they are become lefs religious, by prophaning the divine name, 
YAH , which confirms me in the opinion, that the Cheerake Indians were 
a more civilized people than any of the other neighbouring Indians. 

We are told that the northern Indians, in the time of their rejoicings, re 
peat YO HA HAN , which, if true, evinces that their corruption advances, 
in proportion as they are diftant from South-America, and wanted a 

thod of contracting Indian covenants than they have commonly ufed. Firft, let them confider 
the general good of the community, who chofe them for that end ; and then make a plain 
agreement with the Indians, adapted to their fixed notion of liberty, and the good of their 
country, without any deluding fophifms. If they do not keep thefe effential points of 
amity in view, we (hall fare again, as hath Georgia ; for, by a childifti treaty with the 
Mnfkohge Indians, when defeated An. 1715, its moft northern boundaries are confined 
to the head of the ebbing and flowing of Savannah river. We are faid to have flourifhed 
off very commodious Indian treaties in the council-books, with the Muflcohge, which the 
community know nothing of, except a few plain common particulars, as they fome years 
fince declared. 

H 2 friendly 

52 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

friendly intercourfe with thofe who had an open communication with thofc 
fouthern regions *. Living in moderate high latitudes, would naturally pre 
vent them from finking into effeminacy, and infpire them with martial tem 
pers, (as we are told of the Chili Indians) without being originally a 
bloodier people than any of the fouthern nations. However, we fhould be 
fparing of credit to what unfkilful writers have carefully copied from each 
other, and tranfmitted to the learned world. 

I fhall hereafter, under another argument, (hew, that the Indians va- 
riouQy tranfpofe, morten, and lengthen, each fyllable of the great divine 
name, YO HE WAH, in a very extraordinary manner, when they are fmging 
and dancing to, and before, the divine eflence : and that they commonly 
derive fuch words as convey a virtuous idea, from, or compound them 
with that divine, efiential name. 

I fhall now fhew a farther parity, between the Hebrew language, and the 
Aboriginal American dialects. 

Pujhkocjh fignifies an infant, Neetta a bear, Nuffooba a wolf, &c. By- 
joining the word Oojhe> to the end of the names of animals, it makes a 

* They who have a defire to fee the genuine oratory of the Indians, may find it partly ex 
hibited to the public, by the laborious Mr. Colden, moftly in the manner, as I am told, he- 
found it in the council- books. As that gentleman is an utter ftranger to the language and 
cuftoms of the Indians, it was out of his power to do juilice to the original. Their fpeech, in 
general, abounds with bolder tropes and figures than illiterate interpreters can well compre 
hend, or explain. In the moll eflential part of his copied work, he committed a very mate 
rial blunder, by writing in the firft edition, the Indian folemn invocation, YO HA HAN. 
I was well afl'ured by the intelligent Sir William Johnfon, and the fkilful, benevolent, pious, 
and reverend Mr. John Ogilvie, that the northern Indians always pronounce it YO HE A x An ;. 
and fo it is inferted in the fecond edition. In juftice to this valuable luminary of the church, 
and the worthy laity of the city of New-York, I muft obferve, that, while the reft of his fa- 
cerdotal brethren were much blamed for negleding their office of teaching, and inflead 
thereof, were militating for an epifcopate, that gentleman was univerfally beloved by 
all ranks of people. He fpent his time, like a true fervant of God, in performing the 
various duties of his facred office ; and had the utmoit pleafure in healing breaches, both, 
in public fociety, and in private families. Great numbers of the poor negrce flaves, were, 
inilrucled by him in the principles of chriftianity, while the other clergymen were earnefily 
employed in diflurbing the quiet of the public, for the fake of their favourite Peter's pence. 

\ diflinotion > 

^ be parity of their language. 53 

diftinction ; as Najjbob-oojhe^ a wolf-cub, Neetf-oojhe a bear- cub : but though 
the word Oophe fignifies a dog, as an exception to their general method 
of fpeech, they call a puppy Oopb-ijhik, becaufe he is fo domeftic, or fo- 
ciable, as p^% to kiTs, or fondle. In like manner, Pi/hi fignifies milk ; and 
Pijhik a woman's bread, or the udder of any animal ; as the young ones, 
by killing, or fucking, made the bread, "5, with their mouth, and thereby 
receive their nourimment. With the Hebrews, -py (Oopbecb'a) fignifies 
active, or reftlefs : which, according to the Indian idiom, exprefies the 
quality of a dog; Qopbe is therefore the name of this animal, and their 
period denotes a fimilarity, according to the ufage of the Hebrews... 

Shale and Skatera^ fignify to carry, Sbapore^ a load. The former word 
confifts of Sbetb and Ale. llkh imports dead, and Kaneba loft. They fay Sbaf 
Kaneba, to carry a thing quite away, or to Canaan. Likewife, Ulebt Kaneha, 
literally, dead, and loft, or probably, gone to Canaan. Several old Indian 
American towns are called Kanaai ; and it hath been a prevailing notion 
with many Jews, that when any of their people died in a ftrange land, they 
pa{Ted through the caverns of the earth, till they arrived at Canaan, their 
attractive centre. And the word Oobea y likewife imports dead, or cut off 
by O E A, or Tohewab ; for they firmly believe, as before hinted, they 
cannot outlive the time the Deity has prescribed them. They likewife fay, 
Haffe Ookklille Cbeele^ " the fun is, or has been, caufed to die in the water," 
/. e. fun-fer. When they would fay, " Do not obfcure, or darken me," 
they cry IJh~ookk~ille Chinna.^ verbatim, " Do not occafion Ijb, me, to become 
like the fun, dead in the water." They call the new moon, Haffe Awdbta, 
" the moon is called upon to appear by Yohewah :" which plainly mews, 
that they believe the periodical revolutions of the moon to be caufed, and 
the fun every day to die, or be extinguifhed in the ocean, by the conftant 
laws of God. When we afk them, if to-day's fun is drowned in the weftern 
ocean, how another can rife out of the eadern ocean to-morrow ? they only 
reply, Pitta Yammi, or Ta:;:mi mimg y or fuch is the way of God with his 
people. It feems to be a plain contraction of IT and *BDN Ammi\ which 
was the name of lirael during the theocracy. Befides, Asemmi fignifies, * I 
believe;" as the peculiar people believed in Yohewah. And it likewife 
imports, " I am the owner of, &c." according to the Hebrew idiom,, 
the words and meaning nearly agree, 


54 On the defcent. of tie American Indians from the Jews. 

Eette fignifies wood ; and they term any kind of cheft, box, or trunk, 
Eette Oobe i and frequently, Oobe i which feems to point to the " ark of the 
purifier," that was fo fatal to the laity even to touch ; a ftrong emanation 
of the holy fire, light, and fpirit, refiding in it, as well as in that which the 
priefts carried to war, againft the devoted enemy. 

The Chikkafah fettled a town, in the upper, or moft weftern part of the 
Mufkohge country, about 300 miles eaftward of their own nation, and called 
it Ooe-afa ; which is derived from O E A, and Afa* " there," or " here, is ;" 
;. e. " YO HE WAH prefides in this place." And, when a perfon is re 
moving from his former dwelling, they afk him, IJh-ooe-a (turn ?) " are you 
removing hence, in the name, or under the patronage, of YO HE WAH ?" 
And it both fignifies to afcend, and remove to another place. As, O E A, 
ABA, the omniprefent father of mankind, is faid to dwell above, fo the Indian 
hopes to remove there from hence, by the bounty of Ifhtohoollo, the great 
holy One : according to their fixed ftandard of fpeech, had they made 
any nearer approach to O E A, the ftrong religious emblem of the beloved 
four-lettered name, it would have been reckoned a prophanation. 

Phutchik fignifies a ftar, and Oonna " he is arrived :" but Phutchik Oomiacbe y 
" the morning-ftar i" becaufe he is the forerunner of light, and refembles the 
fun that reflects it. And Oonna-hah fignifies to-morrow, or it is day. The 
termination denotes their gladnefs, that the divine light had vifited them 
again : and, when they are afking if it is day, they fay Onna He (tak ?\ 
The laft monofyllable only afks a queftion -, and the fasminine gender treble 
note is the mid fyllable of the great divine name which may reflect 
ibme light upon the former obfervations. 

Although the Hebrews had a proper name for the human foul, calling it 
1WM; yet in Prov. xx. 27, it is called mrp "tt, " The candle, or lamp of 
God ;" and figuratively applied, it conveys a ftrong idea of the human 
foul : Thus the Indians term it, Nana JJhtohoollo, " fomething of, or a 
relation to, the great holy One ;" very analogous to the former method 
of expreffing the rational principle, in allufion to the celeftial cherubic 
name ttfN, A/be* Fire, as they believe the Deity refides in the new year's, 
fuppofed holy fire. Becaufe IJh, Man, received his breath from the 
divine infpiratiori of the beneficent creator YAH, they term the human 
J fpecies, 

'The parity of their language. 55 

fpecies, in their ftrong-pointing language, Tahwe ; which, though dif 
ferent from the divine, cffcntial, four-lettered name, in found has rr, YAH, 
for its radix. But, becaufe the monkey mimics Tahweh^ or the rational 
creation, more than any other brute, in features, (hape, gefture, and 
actions j in proportion to the fimilitude, tjiey give him a fimilar name, 
Shaw-we. This indeed makes a near approach to IJh and Tab, and to Tahwe ; 
but it wants the radix of both, and confequently bears no fignification of 
relation to either. While they urge, that the regularity of the actions of 
the brute creatures around them, exprefles a nice underflanding or inftinct j 
they deny their being endued with any portion of the reafoning, and living 
principle, but bear only a faint allufion to Nana IJhtohoollo, the rational 
foul. The moft intelligent among them, fay the human foul was not made 
of clay, like the brute creation, whofe foul is only a corporeal fubftance, 
attenuated by heat, and thus rendered invifible. 

Through a feeming war-contempt of each other, they all ufe a favou 
rite termination to their adjectives, (very rarely to their fubftantives) 
and ibmetimes to their verbs , efpecially when they are flourifliing away, 
in their rapid war-fpeeches, which on fuch occafions they always repeat 
with great vehemence. I fhall give a fpecimen of two words, in the dia 
lects of our fouthern Indians. RI is the favourite period of the Katahba 
Indians ; as Mare-r'i, or IVabre-r'i^ " Good," and Maretawah-ri, or Wab- 
retawah-r'i, " beft," or very good , Wab^ the laft fyllable of the great di 
vine name, is evidently the radix, and magnifies the virtuous idea to a 
fuperlative. In like manner, Shegarc-Wakri^ " not bad," but Sheekare-r'i, 
fignifies " bad." With thefe Indians, Sheeke is the name of a buzzard, 
which they reckon to be a moft impure fowl, as it lives on putrid carcafles;, 
upon which account, they choole that word to convey a vicious idea. 

Quo'is the founding termination of the Cheerake; as Seohfia-quo^ " good," 
and O-Je-u, " beft," or very good. Here they feem to have ftudioufly 
ehofen the vowels : As the following words will illuftrate, Toriate-u, 
" very honeft," or virtuous, and T-O.-U, " Evil," or very bad. To cor 
roborate the hints I gave, concerning the Indian names of monkey,, 
and the human fpecies, let it be obftrved, that though their words con 
vey a virtuous or. vicious idea, in proportion as they are conftituted out of 


56 On tic defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

any of their three divine names, YOHEWAH, YAH, and ISHTOHOOLLO , or 
contain the vowels of the great facred name, yet the aforefaid word Y-O-U, 
is fo far from being a deviation from that general cuftom, it is an 

.emphatical, and emblematical term to exprefs evil, by the negative of good ; 
for, as it is the only fubftantive or adjective of that word, it is a 
ftrong expreflive fymbol of the nature, and phyfical caufe of moral evil, by 

'Separating TO, the firft fy liable of the. divine four-lettered name into two 
fyllables ; and adding E7, as a fuperlative period, to make it malum ma- 

Sheh is the founding criterion of the Mufkohge, or Creek Indians, a 
kind of cant jargon, for example ; Heettla-foeh, fignifies " good," and 
Heettla-wab-E-Jheb, " very good -," according to their univerfal ftandard of 
fpeech, it becomes a fuperlative, by fubjoining that part of the divine name 
to it. With the Chikkafah and Choktah, Heettla fignifies dancing j pro 
bably becaufe that religious exercife was good and highly pleafing to them, 
when, according to ancient cuftom, they danced in their fymbolical circles, 
to, and before, YO HE WAH. With the former, ApuHowbage-Jheh, exprefies 
" bad," or- evil, thereby inverting the divine letters. 

Skeb is the favourite termination of the Chikkafah 1 and Choktah as 
Cbookoma-Jkeb, " good," ChookbmaJlo-Jkeb (alluding to JJhto) " very good j" 
and Ookproo-Jkeb) " bad." Likewife, Ookproofto, " worft," or very bad ; for, 
by annexing the contracted initial part of the divine name, IJhtohoollo, to 
the end of it, it is a fuperlative. Thefe remarks may be of fervice to the 
inhabitants of our valuable and extenfive barriers, in order to difcover the 
national name of thofe favages, who now and then cut them off. 

Ockprw-fc, with thofe Indians, fignifies " accnrfed ," the two laft letters 
make only ufamecb, which implies a neuter pafTive : and, as Ookproo is the 
only fubftantive or adjective they ufe to exprefs " evil," by doubling the 
leading vowel of the four-lettered divine name, both at the beginning and 
end of the word ; may we not conjecture at its origin, as glancing at the in 
troduction of fin or evil by man's overacting, or innovating, through a too 
curious knowledge, or choice ? Ye mall be as gods," and, in order to 
ain the refemblance, they ate what was forbidden. 


The Idiom and parity of their language. 5^7 

The greater number of their compounded words, (and, I believe, every 
one of them) which convey a virtuous or pure idea, either have fome 
fyllables of the three divine names, or vifibly glance at them , or have 
one or two vowels of the facred name, Yo HE WAH, and generally 
begin with one of them ; which I mail exemplify, with a few Chikkafah 
and Cheerake words. Iffe- Abo-wive, " Deer-," Tanafa, Buffalo, which as it 
begins with the divine name, YAH, contains no more of their beloved 
vowels : in. like manner, Wahka, " cattle ;" IJhke-Oochea^ " a mother." 
This laft feems to be drawn from IJha, the mother of all mankind. Ebo 
and Enekia fignify " a woman." The latter is derived from the aftive verb, 
Akekiubahy fignifying " to love ardently," or like a woman ; Nakkane AJkai, 
" a man.". From this word, the Chikkafah derive Nakke, the name of an 
arrow or bullet : and with the Cheerake Afkai fignifies *' to fear;" as all the 
American brute animals were afraid of man, &c. 

Words, which imply either a vicious or impure idea, generally be 
gin with a confonant, and double thofe favourite vowels, either at the 
beginning and end,, or in the middle, of fuch words; as Najfooba Woheea, 
" a wolf." With the Chikkafah, EaJJboba fignifies " bewildered ;" Patche, 
" a pigeon," and Patcbe Eaffboba^ " a turtle-dove." Score and Sbeeke 
are the Chikkafah and Cheerake names of a " Turkey-buzzard ;" Choola 
and Cboocbbla, " a fox " Sbookqua and Seequa, an " opoflum," or hog ; 
Ookoonne, " a polecat j" Ookoonna, " a badger ;" Chookpbe and Cbeefto^ 
*' a rabbet." The laft word is derived from the defective verb Chefti, 
" forbear," or, do not meddle with ; and rabbets were prohibited to the 
Ifraelites. In like manner, Oof pa and Ookookoo^ " a night-owl ;" Oof be and 
Keera, " a dog -," Nahoolla and U-uebka, " white people," or " impure ani 
mals." The Chikkafah both corrupt and tranfpofe the laft part of the divine 
name, Ifhtohoollo ; and the Cheerake invert their magnifying termination 
17, to convey an impure idea. And through the like faint allnfion to this 
divine name, Hootto fignifies " idols, pictures, or images ;" a (harp-pointed 
farcafm ! for the word, Hoollo, fignifies alfo " menftruous women," who 
were for the time an equal abomination to the Ifraelites, and with whom 
they were to have no communion. Thefe two words feem to bear the fame 
analogy to each other, as ^tf, Al^ a name of God, and n 1 ?^, Aleb* fignifying 
the covenant of the holy One to redeem man, and m 1 ?**, Alvah execrated, 
or accurfed of God, as idols were. 

I Witk 

r8 On the defcent of the American Indians from the 

With the Cheerake, Awwa, or Amma^ fignifies " water," and 
" a river ;" not much unlike the Hebrew. They likewife term fait, Hawa ; 
and both the conjunction copulative, and " to marry," is Tawa. The name 
of a wife is Awab ; which written in Hebrew, makes mrr, Eve, or Eweh y the 
name of our general mother. So that the Indian name of a wife, is literally 
and emphatically, HIS AND, " One abfolutely needful for the well-being of 
2/h, or man;" IJhtawa (tim ?} fignifies "have you married?" We gain 
additional light from the ftrong fignifkant appellative, I/h-ke, " a mother ;" 
which is an evident contraction of IJha, the mother of Tawe, or man 
kind v with their favourite termination, Jke 9 fubjoined ; the word becomes 
thus fmoother than to pronounce it at its full length, JJha-Jke. If we 
confider that the Hebrews pronounced % Vau* when a confonant, as W 9 here 
is a very ftrong, exprefllve gradation, through thofe various words, up to 
the divine, neceflary,. AND, who formed and connected every fyftem of be 
ings , or to the Hebrew divine original, YO HE WAH : at the fame time,, 
we gain a probable reafon why fo many proper names of old Indian places,. 
in South-Carolina, and elfewhere, along the great continent, begin with our 
Anglo-Saxon borrowed character, W\ as Wampee^ Watboo^ Wappoo, Wad- 
mola, Wajfamefahy &c. Chance is fluctuating, and can never act uni 

To elucidate the aforefaid remarks,, it may not be amifs to obferve, that, 
according to the Ifraelitifh cuftom both of mourning, and employing 
mourners for their dead, and calling weeping, the lifting up of their voices 
to God, the Choktah literally obferve the fame cuftom ; and both they and 
the Chikkafah term a perfon, who through a pretended religious prin 
ciple bewails the dead, Yah-ah, " Ah God ! " and one, who weeps 
on other occafions, Yahma, " pouring out fait tears to, or before God;"' 
which is fimilar to >DiT. When a perfon weeps very bitterly, they fay,. 
Yahmijhto, which is a compounded word, derived from iT, and S D% with 
the initial part of the divine name, IJhtohoollo, fubjoined, to magnify 
the idea, according to the ufage of the Hebrews. When the 
divine penman is defcribing the creation, and the ftrong purifying 
wind, which fwept along the furface of the waters, he calls it, " the 
air, or fpirit ;" and, more fignificantly, " the wind of God," or a. 
very great wind : and, in other parts of the divine oracles, great hail, a 
7 great 

The idiom and Rarity of their language $'9 

great lion, and . the like, are by the fame figure, called the hail of God. 
They alfo apply the former words, Tab-ah, Tab-ma, and the like, to 
exprefs the very fame ideas through all the moods and tenfes j as 
Cheyaaras, " I mail weep for you j" Sawa Cheyaara Awa, " Wife, I will 
not weep for you." And when the violence of their grief for the deceafed, 
is much abated, the women frequently, in their plaintive notes, repeat 
To He (fa} Wah, To He ('fa) Web, To He fa Ha, To He fa Heh -, with a re 
ference probably to the Hebrew cuftom of immoderately weeping and wail 
ing for their dead, and invoking the name of God on fuch doleful occafions ; 
and which may have induced thefe fuppofed red Hebrews to believe the like 
conduit, a very efiential part of religious duty. Neetak Tab-ab figmfies " a 
faft day," becaufe they were then humbly to fay Ah, and afflict their fouls 
before YAH. In like manner, Tab- Abe fignifies " one who weeps for hav 
ing killed, or murdered another." Its roots are IT, Tab, their continual war- 
period, and, Vntf, Abele, fignifying " forrow or mourning ;" for, as killing, 
or murdering, is an hoftile act, it cannot be drawn from rQN, which fignifies 
brotherly love, or tender affection. Nana-Tah-Abe defcribes a perfon weep 
ing, while another is killing him. Now, as Nana is " a relation," Tab 
" God," and Abe as above, the true meaning feems to be, "One, like 
bleeding Abele, weeping to God." Like wife their name for felt, Hawa, 
may inform us, that though at prefent they ufe no fait in their religious 
offerings, they forbore it, by reafon of their diftant fituation from the 
fea-fhore, as well as by the danger of blood attending the bringing it 
through an enemy's country -, for, according to the idiom of their lan 
guage, if they had not thought fait an eflential part of the law of facri- 
ficature, they moft probably, would not have derived it from the two laft 
fyllables of the great divine name ; whereas they double the confonant, 
when they exprefs water, without drawing it from the clear fountain of liv* 
ing waters, YO HE WAH. 

With the Hebrews, as before obferved *, ^90, I'ephale, fignifies " mak 
ing or pulling of the hand, cohefion, conjunction, or entering into fociety ;" 
and " praying, or invoking." In conformity to that original flandard, 
when the Indians would exprefs a ftrong, lading friendship, they have no 

Page 42. 

I 2 other 

6o On the defcent of the American Indians from the 

other way, than by faying, Abarattle-la pbeena cbemanumbole* " I fhall firmly 
(hake hands with your difcourfe, or fpeech." 

When two nations of Indians are making, or renewing peace with each 
other, the ceremonies and folemnities they ufe, carry the face of great an 
tiquity, and are very ftriking to a curious fpedator, which I fhall here relate, 
fo far as it fuits the prefent fubjed. When ftrangers of note arrive near 
the place, where they defign to contract new friendihip, or confirm their old 
amity, they fend a meffenger a- head, to inform the people of their amicable 
intention. He carries a fwan's wing in his hand, painted all over with llreaks 
of white clay, as an expreffive emblem of their embafTy. The next day, when 
they have made their friendly parade, with firing off their guns and whoop^ 
ing, and have entered the beloved fquare, their chieftain, who is a-head of the 
reft, is met by one of the old beloved men, or magi, of the place. He 
and the vifitant approach one another, in a bowing pofture. The former 
lays, To y Ijh la cbu Anggona? "Are you come a friend in the name of 
God ?" Or, " Is God with you, friend ?" for, To is a religious contraction 
of Tobewab, -Ijh " the man," La a note of joy, Cbu a query, and Anggona 
** a friend." The other replies, Tab Arabre-O, Anggona^ " God is with 
me, I am, come, a friend, in God's name." The reply confirms the mean 
ing of the queflionary falute, in the manner before explained. The 
magus then grafps the flranger with both his hands, around the wrift of 
his right hand, : which holds fome green branches again, about the elbow 
then around the. arm, clofe to his fhoulder, as a near approach to the 
heart. Then his immediately waving the eagles tails over .the head of 
the ftranger, is the ftrongeft pledge of good faith. Similar .to the Hebrew 
word, Pbak with the Indians, fignifies " to wave," and likewife. to 
lhakej for they fay, Skooba Pbale, "-(baking, one's head." How far the 
Indian oath, or manner of covenanting, agrees with that of the Hebrews^ 
on the like folemn occafion, I refer to the intelligent reader. Their method 
of embracing each other, feems to refemble alfo that cuftom of the Hebrews, 
when a ftranger became furety for another, by giving him his wrift ; to 
which Solomon alludes, " Ifthou haft ilricken hand with the ftranger, &c." 
Their common method of greeting each other, is analogous with the 
above i the hoft only fays, Ijh-la Cbu? and the gueft replies, Arabre-O^ 
" I am come in the name of O E A," or Yo HE WAH. 


Their nervous and emphaticalftyle* 6 1 

When O is joined to the end of words, it always denotes a fuperlative 
according to their univerfal figurative abbreviations of the great beloved 
name; thus with the Chikkafah," Iffe, "deer," and Iffe-Q^ " very great 
deer;" Tanafa y " a buffalo," Tanas-0, " a very extraordinary great buffalo j" 
which is, at leaft, as ftrong a fuperlative, as "?tf jva bti, fignifying " the 
houfe of the Omnipotent," or " the temple." 

With the Cheerake Indians, A (wah to) bowwe fignifies " a great deer- 
killer :" it is compounded of Ahowwe, u a deer," Wab the period of the 
divine name, and Ta, a note of plurality. The title, " the deer-killer of 
God for the people," was, fince my time, very honourable among them, as 
its radical meaning likewife imports. Every town had one folemnly 
appointed ; him, whom they faw the Deity had at fundry times bleffed with 
better fucceis than the reft of his brethren, in fupplying them with an holy 
banquet, that they might eat, and rejoice, before the divine efTence. But 
now it feems, byreafon of their great intercourfe with foreigners, they 
have left off that old focial, religious cuftom ; and even their former noted 
hofpitaiity. I would alfo obferve, that though neceflky obliged them to 
apply the bear's-greafe, or oil, to religious ufes, they have no fuch phrafe 
as (Wah to] eeona ; not accounting the bear fo clean an animal as the 
deer, to be offered, and eaten in their religious friendly feafts ; where they 
folemnly invoked, ate, drank, fung, and danced in a circular form, to, and 
before, YO HE WAH. . 

The Indian dialects, like the Hebrew language, have a nervous and em- 
phadcal manner of expreffion. The Indians do not perfonify inanimate ob 
jects, as did the oriental heathens, but their ftyle is adorned with images, 
companions, and ftrong metaphors like the Hebrews ; and equal in allego 
ries to any of the eaftern nations. According to the ages of antiquity, their 
war fpeeches, and public orations, always alTume a poetical turn, not unlike 
the found of the meafures of the celebrated Anacreon and Pindar. Their 
poetry is feldom exact in numbers, rhymes, or meafure : it may be 
compared to profe in mufic, or a tunable way of fpeaking. The period is 
always accompanied' with a founding vehemence, to inforce their mufical 
ipeech : and the mufic is apparently defigned to pleafe the ear, and affect 
the pafiions. 

After ' 

62 On the dcfcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

After what hath been faid of their language, it may be proper here to 
fhew how they accent the confonants : I fhall range them in the order of 
our alphabet, except thofe they pronounce after our manner. When CH 
begins a word, or is prefixed to a vowel, it conveys a foft found, as Chda, 
** high ;" but otherwife it is guttural : as is D, which is exprefled by fix 
ing the tip of the tongue between the teeth, as Dawi y for David. G is 
always guttural, as we accent Go. They cannot pronounce Gn -, and they 
have not the Hh, neither can it be exprefled in their dialects, as their lead 
ing vowels bear the force of guttural confonants. They have not the JOD, 
as I can any way recoiled, or get information of j nor can they repeat it, 
any nearer than Cbot. They pronounce 7C, as in Ko ; L and TV, as D , 
by fixing the tongue to the lower teeth ; 1" like D, as in the old Hibernian, 
or Celtic affirmative, Ta. They cannot pronounce F, or X\ they call the 
governor of Moveel, (Mobille) Goweno-Moweeleb : and they have not a 
word which begins or ends with X. KS are always divided into two fyllables ; 
as Hak-fe^ " mad," &c. They have not the letter Z ; much lefs any fuch 
harfh found as c Tz, although they have 1*1. As they ufe the Hebrew confa- 
nants T and W^ in their mod folemn invocation YO HE WAH, inftead of the 
prefent Hebrew Jod and Vau \ fo they feem to exclude them intirely out of 
their various dialects : the pronunciation therefore of the Hebrew characters, 
which are fuppofed to convey the other founds, they are unacquainted with ; 
and thofe which feem to be tranfpofed, may be clearly afcertained by perfons 
of proper capacity and leifure, by comparing a fufficient number of Hebrew 
and Indian words together. The Indian accents, O<?, and 0, >u, and T/, 
may, prove a pretty good key to fpeculative enquirers. 

77 often occur in their words ; as Tlumba, " to bleed with a lancet, to 
bore, fcoop, or make any thing hollow ;" and Heettla, " to dance." And 
the South- Americans, we are told, had likewife the fame found, as in that 
national name, llajkala : it feems to have been univerfal over the extenfive 
continent. And, from a fimilarity of the Hebrew manners, religious 
rites, civil and martial cuftoms, we have a ftrong preemptive proof, 
that they ufed the aforefaid double vowels, and likewife a fingle vowel, 
as a termination, to give their words a foft accent : and it is plain to me, 
that the Hebrew language did not found fo harfh, as it is now commonly 
exprefled, but like the American dialects it was interfperfed with vowels, 


*fbelr nervous and emphatic aljlyle. 63 

and a vowel was commonly fubjoined to each word, for the fake of a foft 
cadence ; as Abele^ and Ale> inftead of bltf, Abel^ and *?N, ^/, &c. 

The Englifh characters cannot be brought any nearer to the true pro 
nunciation of the Indian words, than as above fet down : fo that former 
writers have notorioufly ftrayed, by writing conjecturally, or taking things 
on the wing of fame. What Indian words we had, being exceedingly 
mangled, either by the fault of the prefs, or of torturing pens, heretofore 
induced fkilful perfons to conjecture them to be hieroglyphical characters, 
in imitation of the ancient Egyptian manner of writing their chronicles. _ 

The Indians exprefs themfelves with a great deal of vehemence, and with 
fhort paufes, in all their fet fpeeches j but, in common difcourfe, they ex 
prefs themfelves according to our ufual method of fpeech, only when they 
icold each other : which I never obferved, unlefs they were intoxicated with, 
fpiritous liquors, or cafually overheard a hufband when fober in his own fa 
mily. They always act the part of a ftoic philofopher in outward appear 
ance, and never Ipeak above their natural key. And in their philofophic 
way of reafoning, their language is the more fharp and biting, like keen 
irony and fatyr, that kills whom it praifes. They know, that thus 
they correct and fubdue the firft boilings of anger ; v/hich, if unchecked, 
proves one of the moft dangerous pafllons to which human nature is 
fubject. So that remote favages, who have heard only the jarring 
fcreeches of night- owls, and the roaring voices of ravenous beads of prey, 
in this refpect give leflbns, and fet a worthy example to our moil civilized 

I have heard feveral eloquent Indian leaders, juft as they were ready 
to fet off for war, to ufe as bold metaphors and allegories in their 
fpeeches and images almoft as full and animating, as the eloquent 
penman of the old divine book of Job, even where he is paintinay 
with his ftrong colours, the gladnefs and contempt of the beautiful 
war-horfe, at the near approach of the enemy. I heard one of their 
captains, at the end of his oration for war, tell the warriors that flood 
outermoll, he feelingly knew their guns were burning in their hands ; their 
tomohawks thirfty to drink the blood of their enemy j and their trutly 


- 6 4 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

arrows impatient to be on the wing-, and, left delay fhould burn their hearts 
any longer, he gave them the cool refrefhing word, " Join the holy .ark, 
and away to cut off the devoted enemy." They immediately founded the 
fhrill whop -.whoop, and ftruck up the folemn, awful fong, To, &c. 

:In Virginia, refides the remnant of .an Indian tribe, who call themfelves 
Sepone ; which word, with. the Egyptians, fignifies the time of putting their 
wine into vdTels ; derived, according to mythologifts, from Sapban, " to in- 
clc-fe or conceal." From thence they formed the fictitious Tifipbone, the pu- 
nifher of fins, animated with hatred ; and alfo the reft of their pretended 
furies, from the like circumftances of the year. Our early American writers 
have beftowed on thefe Indians an emperor, according to the Spanifh copy, 
calling him Pawhatan cpntrary to the Indian method of ending their pro 
per names with a vowel ; and have pictured them as a feparate body of fierce 
idolatrous canibals. We however find them in the prefent day, of the fame 
temper and religious tenets, as the reft of the Indian Americans, in propor 
tion to their fituation in life. Confidering the nearneis of Egypt to Judea, 
they might have derived that appellative from the Egyptians, efpecially, 
as here, and in feveral of our American colonies, (particularly on the north 
fide of Sufquehana river, in Penfylvania) are old towns, called Kama. 
There was about thirty years ago, a remnant of a nation, or fubdivided 
tribe of Indians, called Kanaai ; which refembles the Hebrew proper name, 
2y2D, (Canaan, or Chanoona\ Their proper names always end with a vowel : 
and they feldom ufe a confonant at the end of any word *. I cannot recollect 

* If we confider the proximity of thofe Indians to a thick-fettled colony, in which there are 
many gentlemen of eminent learning, it will appear not a little furprizing that the name Ca- 
,naaaites t in the original language, according to the Indian method of expreffing it, as above, 
did not excite the attention of the curious, and prompt them to fome enquiry into the lan 
guage, rites, and cuftoms, of thofe Aborigines : which had they effected, would have 
juftly procured them thofe eulogia from the learned world, which their fociety profufely 
bellowed on the artful, improved flrokes of a former prime magiftrate of South-Carolina, 
whofe conduct in Indian affairs, was fo exceedingly lingular, if not fordid and faulty, (as I 
publicly proved when he prefided there) that another year's fuch management would have 
caufed the Cheerake to remove to the French barrier, or to have invited the French to fettle 
a garrifon, where the late unfortunate Fort-Loudon flood. But a true Britifh adminiflratiou 
Succeeding, in the very critical time, it deftroyed their immature, but molt dangerous 
threatening fcheme. This note I infert here, though rather out of place, to mew, that the 
northern gentlemen have not made all thofe obfervations and enquiries, with regard to the 
Indians, which might have been reafonably expefted, from fo numerous and learned a body. 

7 any 

r opinion of thunder and lightning. 65 

any exceptions but the following, which are fonorous, and feem to be 
of an ancient date ; Ookkah, " a fwan ;" Ilpatak, " a wing ;" Koojhak* 
" reeds ;" Sheenuk, " fand ;" Sbutik, " the fkies ;" Phutchik, " a ftar ; " 
Soonak, " a kettle ,'* $/h, " the eye ," Ai-eep^ " a pond ;" and from which 
they derive the word Ai-ee-pe^ " to bathe,'* which alludes to the eaftern me 
thod of purifying themfelves. Ilbak fignifies " a hand :" and there are a few 
words that end with/? i as Sotlijh^ " a tongue," &c. 

The Indians call the lightning and thunder, Eloha, and its rumbling 
noife, Rowah, which may not improperly be deduced from the Hebrew. 
To enlighten the Hebrew nation, and imprefs them with a reverential awe 
of divine majefty, God fpoke to them at Sinai, and other times during 
the theocracy, with an awful or thundering voice. The greater part of 
the Hebrews feem to have been formerly as ignorant of philofophy, as are 
the favage Americans now. They did not know that thunder proceeded 
from any natural caufe, but from the immediate voice of Elohim, above the 
clouds : and the Indians believe, according to this Hebrew fyftem of phi 
lofophy, that Minggo IJhto Eloha Alkaiafto, " the great chieftain of the thun 
der, is very crofs, or angry when it thunders :" and I have heard them fay, 
when it rained, thundered, and blew (harp, for a confiderable time, that the 
beloved, or holy people, were at war above the clouds. And they believe 
that the war at fuch times, is moderate, or hot, in proportion to the noife 
and violence of the ftorm. 

I have feen them in thefe ftorms, fire off their guns, pointed toward the 
fky, fome in contempt of heaven, and others through religion the former, 
to (hew that they were warriors, and not afraid to die in any fhape ; much 
lefs afraid of that threatening troublefome noife : and the latter, becaufe 
their hearts directed them to afiift JJhtokwllo Eloba *. May not this 

* The firft lunar eclipfe I faw, after I lived with the Indians, was among the Qieerake, 
An. 1736: and during the continuance of it, their conduct appeared very furprizing to one 
who had not feen the like before ; they all ran wild, this way and that way, like lunatics, 
firing their guns, whooping and hallooing, beating of kettles, ringing horfe-bells, and 
making the moft horrid noifes that human beings poflibly could. This was the effect of 
their natural philofophy, and done to aflift the fuflering moon. And it is an opinion of fome 
of the Eaft-Indians, that eclipfes are occafioned by a great monfler refembling a bull-frog, 
which now and then gnaws one edge of the fun and moon, and would totally deftroy them, 
only that they frighten it away, and by that means preferve them and their light. 

K proceed 

66 On the dcfcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

proceed from an oral tradition of the war which the rebellious angels waged 
againft the great Creator , and which the ancient heathens called the war of 
the giants ? Nothing founds bolder, or is more expreffive, than the Chee- 
rake name of thunder, Eentaquarojke. It points at the effeds and report of 
the battles, which they imagine the holy people are fighting above. The 
fmall-pox, a foreign difeafe, no way connatural to their healthy climate, 
they call Oonataquara* imagining it to proceed from the invifible darts of 
angry fate, pointed againft them, for their young people's vicious conduct. 
When they fay, " \ mall moot," their term is, Ake-rooka. The radix of 
this word is in the two laft fyllables -, the two firft are expreflive only of the 
firft perfon fingular , as Akeeohoofa, " I am dead, or loft ;" and Akeeoboofera y 
" I have loft." Rooka feems to have a reference to the Hebrew name for 
the holy Spirit. 

The moft fouthern old town, which the Chikkafah firft fettled, after the 
Chokchoomah, Choktah, and they, feparated on our fide of the Miffifippi^ 
into three different tribes, they called Yaneka, thereby inverting Yahkane> 
the name of the earth ; as their former brotherhood was then turned into en 
mity. *. The bold Creeks on the oppofite, or north fide of them, they named 
Yehnabe, " killing to God," or devoting to death j for the mid confonant 
expreffes the prefent time. And their proper names of pcrfons, and places,. 
are always exprefTive of certain circumftances, or things, drawn from roots, 
that convey a fixed determinate meaning. 

With the Mufkohge, Algeb fignifies " a language," or fpeech: and, becaufe 
feveral of the Germans among them, frequently fay Tab-yah, as an affirmative* 
they call them Yah-yah Algeh, " Thofe of the blafphemous fpeech ;" which, 
ftrongly hints to us, that they ftill retain a glimpfe of the third moral com 
mand delivered at Sinai, " Thou malt not take the name of the Lord thy 
God in vain,'* or apply the name of YOHEWAH, thy ELOHIM, to vain, or 
created things. 

* They call the earth Yahkane, becaufe Yah formed it, as his footftool, by the power 
of his word. In allufion alfo hereto, Nakkane fignifies a man, becaufe of the mother- 
earth ; and Nakke a bullet, or arrow. When the Cheerake aflc a perfon, Is it not fo ? 
they fay, Wahkane ? The divine eflcntial name, and Kane, are evidently the roots of thefe 


ons on their language. 67 

Thefe Indians, to inculcate on their young people, that YO HE WAH is 
the Author of vegetation, call the growth of vegetables, Wabraab, " moved 
by Yohewah -," for Adh fignifies to walk, or move ; and the confonant is an 
expletive of diftinction. In like manner, Wah-ah fignifies, that " the 
fruits are ripe,'* or moved to their joy, by Yohewah. They likewife call the 
flying of birds, Wahkaah ; as Yohewah gave them that fwift motion. And, 
when young pigeons are well feathered, they fay, Patche hijhjhe oolphotakab 
Patcbe fignifies " a pidgeon," Hi/b/he, " leaves, hair, or feathers," colpha* 
or eolpboy " a bud," ta, a note of plurality, and hah of admiration, to make 
it a plural fuperlative. But, when the pigeons, in winter, fly to a moderate 
climate in great clouds, they ufe the word, IVah-ah^ which in every other 
application defcribes vegetation, and fay, Patche Wah-ah^ " the pigeons are 
moved to them by Yohewah ;" which feems to allude to the quails in the 
wildernefs, that were miraculoufly fent to feed the Ifraelites. 

Clay bafons they call Ai-am-bo ; and their old round earthen forts, Aiambo 
Chdah, this laft word fignifying " high," or tall : but a (lockade, or wooden 
fort, they term, Hooreta ; and to infwamp, Book-Hoore, from Bovkfe^ " a 
fwamp," and Hooreta, " a fort, or place of difficult accefs." High waters, 
conveys to them, an idea only of deepnefs ; as Ookka phobe, " deep 
waters." And they fay, Ookka chookbma intda, " The water glides, or moves 
along pleafantly, or goodly." That the word Intda* has Ta-ab for its ra 
dix, is apparent from their name for a rapid current, Tahnale, " it runs 
with a very extraordinary force j" the mid confonant is placed there r 
to give the word a fuitable vehemence of exprefllon and the word is 
compounded of rr, Tak* and ^K, Alt* two names of God. In like manner, 
Tahnha fignifies " a pleurify," fever, and the like -, becaufe they reckon, 
when YAH fays ha in anger, to any of their vicious people, he immediately 
fires the blood, and makes it run violently through all the veins of the body. 
Ajhtabale fignifies the reflection of the celeftial luminaries, which is com- 
pofed of two of the divine names ; as ttfN, AJh^ the celeftial, cherubimi- 
cal name of God, fignifying fire, fa, a contraction of the conjunction copu 
lative, and btt, Ak, the ftrong, or omnipotent. They fay a river, or warm 
victuals, is A-jhu-pa \ that is, the former is become fordable, and the latter 
eatable. They here divide AJb into two fyllables j and the termination alludes 
to the word, Apa, which fignifies eating. 

K 2 Paab 

68 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews, 

Paah fignifies to raife the voice, Voctfero for j, Phi, fignifies " the 
mouth," and A'ah> " to move." Opae is the name of a war- leader, be- 
caufe he is to move his mouth to O E A, or invoke YO HE WAR, while 
he carries the beloved ark to war, and is fanctifying himfelf and his party, 
that they may obtain fuccefs againft the enemy. But Pat-Minggo fignifies 
a far-off, or diftant chieftain. Pa yak Matahab^ is the high name of a war- 
leader, derived from Paab, to raife the voice to YAH, and Tabab-y 
" finilhed," meaning his war-gradation : the M prefixed to it, makes it a- 
fubftantive, according to the ufage of the Hebrews. Any thing liquid they 
term Ookcke, from Ookka and cbe : and Ookchaah fignifies " alive." It is 
drawn from Ookka, " water," C&, a note of refemblance, and Aab^ " mov 
ing ," /. e. a living creature refembles moving water. In like manner, 
Ookcba fignifies to awake out of fleep j and alfo to plant any vegetable 
fubftance, alluding to their three different ftates they firft were enabled 
to move about then reft, or fleep is neceffary, and alfo being planted in the 
earth but they hope that in due time, they mall be moved upward, after 
they have flept a while in the earth, by the omnipotent power of Tab. 
They have an idea of a refurrection of the dead body, according to the 
general belief of the Jews, and in conformity to St. Paul's philofophicat 
axiom, that corruption precedes generation, and a refurrection*. 

Keenta fignifies " a beaver,'* Ookka " water," and Heenna " a path j" 
but, for a fmooth cadence,, they contract them into one word, Keextook* 
beenna - 9 which very expreflively fignifies " a beaver-dam." 

The Indian compounded words, are generally pretty long; but thofe- 
that are radical, or fimple, are moftly fhort: very few, if any of them, ex^ 
ceed three or four fyllables. And, as their dialects are guttural, every word' 
contains fome confonants ; and thefe are the eflential characteriftics of lan 
guage. Where they deviate from, this rule, it is by religious emblems; 
which obv.ioufly proceeds from the great regard they paid to the names of 
the Deity -, efpecially, to the four-lettered,, divine, eflential name, by ufing 
the letters it contains, and the vowels it was originally pronounced with, to 
convey a virtuous idea ; or, by doubling, or tranfpofing them, to fignify 
the contrary.. In this they all agree. And, as this general cnftom mufl? 
proceed from one primary caufe, it feems to allure us, they were not in a 
1 favage 

Gfifervations on their language. g 

&vage ftate, when they firft feparated, and variegated their dialers, with fo 
much religious care, and exact art. Blind chance could not direct fo great 
a number of remote and warring favage nations to fix on, and unite in fo 
nice a religious ftandard of fpeech. Vowels are inexpreflive of things, they 
only typify them-, as Oo-E-J, " to afcend, or remove:" O E A^ a moft 
facred affirmation of the truth. Similar to thefe are many words, contain- 
ing only one confonant : as To-e-u " it is very true ;" 0-fe-u, " very goodj" 
T-O-U, " evil, or very bad ;" T-d-a> " he moves by the divine bounty ;" 
Nan-ne T-a, " the divine hill, or the mount of God," &c. If language was 
not originally a divine gift, which fome of our very curious modern philo- 
fophers deny, and have taken great pains to fet afide , yet human beings 
are pofTefled of the faculties of thinking and fpeaking, and,, in propor 
tion to their ideas, they eafily invented, and learned words mixed with 
confonants and vowels, to exprefs them. Natural laws are common and 
general. The fituation of the Indian Americans, has probably beerv the 
means of finking them into that ftate of barbarifm we now behold Yet, 
though in great meafure they may have loft their primitive language, not 
one of them exprefies himfelf by the natural cries of brute-animals, any far 
ther than to defcribe fome of the animals by the cries they make ; which we 
ourfelves fometimes imitate, as Cboo-qua-le-qua-loo, the name they give that 
merry night-finging bird, which we call *' Whip her will my poor wife," 
(much like our cuckoo) fo termed from its mufical monotony. No lan 
guage is exempt from the like fimple copyings. The nervous, polite, and 
copious Greek tongue had the loud-founding Boo Boao, which the Romans 
imitated, by their bellowing Roves Bourn -, and the Indians fay Pa*a, figni- 
fying the loud noife of every kind of animals, and their own loud-founding 
war Whoo Whoop. Where they do not ufe divine emblems, their words 
have much articulation of confonants. Their radicals have not the infepa-* 
rable property, of three confonants, though frequently they, have; and 
their words are not fo long, as ftrangers conjeclurally draw them out. In- 
ftead of a fimple word, we too often infert the wild picture of a double, 
or triple-compounded one j. and the conjugation of their verbs, utterly de 
ceives us. A fpecimen of this, will fhew it with fufficient clearnefs, and* 
may exhibit fome ufeful hints to the curious fearchers of antiquity. 

A-no-wa fignifies " a rambler, renegadoe, or a perfon of no fettled place 
of abode." A-no-wak*. the firft perfon, and $&-*, the fecond perfon 


jo On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

fingular, but they have not a particular pronoun for the third , they diftin- 
guilh it by cuftom. Si-a, or Sy-ab, is " I am -," Cbee-a, or Cby-ah, " you 
are ;" and foo-wah, " he is." Ay-ab fignifies " to go ;" Ay-a-fa, " I remain-," 
IJh-i-a-fa^ " you remain ;" y/-/0, " he remains." A-OO-E-A is a ftrong 
religious emblem, fignifying " I climb, afcend, or remove to another place 
of refidence." It points to A-nb-wah, the firft perfon fingular, and O-E-A, or 
YO HE WAH j and implies, putting themfelves under his divine patronage. 
The beginning of that moil facred fymbol, is, by ftudious (kill, and a 
thorough knowledge of the power of letters, placed twice, to prevent them 
from applying the facred name to vain purpofes, or created things. In 
like manner they fay, Naf-fap-pe-O IJh-00-E-A^ " You are climbing a 
very great acorn-tree," meaning an oak ; for Naf-fe is the name of an acorn ; 
and the mid part of that triple compounded word, is derived from Ap-pe-Ia, 
" to help i" Che-ap-pe-la A-wa> " I do not help you." The termination, 
according to their fixed idiom, magnifies it to a fuperlative. Quoo-ran-he-qua* 
a noted old camping place, fourteen miles above the fettlement of Ninety -fix* 
and eighty-two below the Cheerake, fignifies, in their dialed:, " the large 
white oaks." Oof-fak is the name of a " hickory-nut," and Ocf-fak Ap pe-0* 
as above. Qot-te fignifies " a chefnut ;" Noot-te, " a tooth ;" Soot-te, a a 
pot ;" and Oo-te, " to make a fire," which may be called an Indian type 
for eating boiled chefnuts. 

When they fay, " He is removing his camp," they exprefs it in a moft 
religious manner, Al-be-na-OO-E-A* Al-be-nds-le fignifies " I camped -," 
Al-be-nas-le-chu; " I fhall, or will, camp : J> but, according to their religious 
mode of fpeaking, At-ke-na A-00-E-A-re^ exprefles the former, and Al-be- 
na A-00-E-A-rd-cM) the latter phrafe ; likewife, Al-be-naOO-E-As fignifies 
Caftra Moveto^ imperatively. It is worthy of notice, that as they have no 
pronoun relative to exprefs the third perfon fingular, they have recourfe to 
the firft fyllable of the eflential word, Toowah^ " He is." In allufion to that 
word, they term the conjunction copulative, Ta-wah, and ^tee-U-Wah^ " reft- 
ing." So mixed a train of nice and exact religious terms, could not 
be invented by people, as illiterate and favage as the Indians now are, 
any more than happen by accident. 

Though they have loft the true meaning of their religious emblems, ex 
cept what a very few of us occafionally revive in the retentive memories of 
their old inquifitive magi ; yet tradition directs them to apply them pro 

Obfervations on their language. 7 I 

perly. They ufe many plain religious emblems of the divine names, Yo- 
HEWAH, YAH, and ALE, and thefe are the roots of a prodigious number of 
words, through their various dialects. It fe furprizing they were unnoticed, 
and that no ufe was made of them, by the early voluminous Spanifh 
writers, or by our own, for the information of the learned world, notwith- 
ftanding the bright lights they had to direct them in that ra, when the de 
corations of their holy temples and priefts, their religious ceremonies, and 
facred hymns of praife to the Deity, of which hereafter, fo nearly corref- 
ponded with the Ifraelhim, and might have been readily difcovered by any 
who eyed them with attention. In our time, by reafon of their long inter- 
courfe with foreigners, we have necefFarily but a few dark traces to guide 
our inquiries, in the inveftigation of what muft have been formerly, fliining. 

I muft beg to be indulged with a few more remarks on their verbs, -If 
we prefix As to A-a> " to move," it becomes A-fd-a^ " to offend.'* The mo- 
nofyllables Ifh and Cbe> varioufly denote the fecond perfon fingular ; but when 
the former is by cuftom prefixed to a verb, the latter then expreffes either the 
accufative or ablative cafe fingular of the pronoun relative ; as IJb-a-fd-ab y 
" you are offended, or moved to fay Ah ;" I/h-a-fa-a-re, " you were dif- 
pleafed :" but Cbe-a-fd-ab fignifies " I am difpleafed with you ;" and Cke-a- 
fd-a-re " I was offended by you-," Che-a-fd-a-cbee-le is " I occafion,. or have 
occafioned you to be difpleafed," literally, " I produce, or have produced 
offence to you ," and Cbe-a-fd-a-cbee-la Aisoa, " I mail not caufe you to be 
difpleafed." In like manner, they fay A-dn-ha^ which fignifies " I defpife,'* 
or literally, " I move ba ;" for the mid letter is inferred for diftincYion-fake,, 
according to their idiom. So A-chin-ba-chu, " I fhali contemn you ,'* 
A-cbm-ha-cbee-la A-<wa, " I mail not caufe you to become defpicable." 
Chee-le fignifies literally, lt to bring forth young." So that the former me 
thod of expreffion is very fignificant ; and yet it fliews a fterility of lan 
guage, as that fingle word is applicable to every fpecies of female animals,, 
fowls not excepted : Thus, Phoo-Jhe Cbee-le^ " the birds lay." Oe-Jbe figni 
fies " a young animal," of any kind and likewife an egg. When men 
tioned alone, by way of excellence, it is the common name of an infant; 
but when the name of the fpecies of animals is prefixed to it, it defcribes 
the young creature. An-^ujh-koojh oo-Jhe, is what the tender mother fays to- 
her well-pleafed infant. The two words import the fame thing. The for 
mer refembles the Hebrew, and the latter is- likewife a fubflantive ; they 
j fay 

*i On the defcent of the American Indians from the y 

lay CbooI-loo-Jbt Teeth-ld-a-ta-hdh^ "the fox-cubs are run off;" Choo-la being 
the name of a fox. Phut-cboos-oo-Jhe Wah-kd-as, " let the young duck fly 
away ;" and Phoo-foo-Jhe Hijh-foe Ool-pba-qut-fa, " the young wild bird's 
hairs, or feathers, are not fpnrng, or budded." Pa-fe fignifies the hair of a 
man's head, or the mane of animals. Sha-k fignifies pregnant, literally, 
" to carry a burthen -," as Oo-Jhe Sba-le, " flic bears, or carries; an infant -" 
but, when it is born, Sboo-Ie is the name for carrying it in their arms. 
This bears off from the divine radix, with great propriety of language. 
Im prefixed to a verb, denotes the mafculine and feminine pronouns, ilium 
and illam As this is their fixed method of fpeech, the reader will eafily nn- 
derftand the true idiom of their language. Sal-le fignifies " I am dead," 
Cbil-te, you, &c. fl-leb, he, &c. And this is likewife a fubftantive, as Il-ht 
Min-te> " death is approaching," or coming : Min-te-cha fignifies " come 1 
you ;" and A-mln te-la A~wa> or Ac-min-td-qua-cbit, " I will not come." 

The former word, Sba-le 9 "" to carry a burthen," or, me is pregnant, 
feems to -be derived from v and *?** : and, as A~fha-le, IJh-jhii~le t and 
E-Jha- ; le, are the firft, fecond, and third perfons fingular of the prefent tenfe, 
the latter may allude to her conception by the power of the Deity : and it 
alfo points to Vv#, Sba-wo-le, or Saul, * the grave, or fepulchre," out of 
which the dead mail come forth to a new world of light. In like manner 
Cbee-le " to bring forth," or A-chee-ld-le, " I brought forth," appears to 
be derived from D, a note of refemblance, and ^N, A-le^ the fruitful Omni 
potent. All the American nations, like the Jews, entertain a contemptible 
opinion of their females that are barren fterility they confider as proceed 
ing from the divine anger, on account of their conjugal infidelity. 

To enable grammarians to form a clear idea of the Indian method of va 
riegating their verbs, and of the true meaning they convey, we muft again 
recur to the former efiential word, or rather divine emblem, A-ah, " he 
moves." They fay A~as^ " let him move," and Ee-md-ko^ or Bid-fas A-d- 
a-re, " I now move," or " yefterday I moved j" for, like the Hebrews, 
they fometimes ufe the preterperfe<fl, inftead of the prefent tenfe. A-a-a-ra* 
cbu is the firft perfon fingular of the future tenfe, in the indicative mood. 
A-d-ta-hah exprefTes the' third perfon plural of the prefent tenfe, and fame 
mood. A-d-ta-bdh-ta-ko-a fignifies, by query, " have ye, or will ye move ?" 
It is their method of conjugating their verbs, that occafions any of their 


Qbfervations on their language. 7 j 

radical or derivative verbs to exceed three or four fyllables ; as we fee by 
this, which, though compofed only of two vowels, or ihort fyllables, is yet 
fo greatly deflected. With them two negatives make an affirmative, as 
Ak-bijb-ko-qud, " I mall not drink-," add the ftrong negative termination 
A-wa, it is, " I will certainly drink." An affirmative queftion frequently 
implies a ftrong negative -, as Ai-a-rd-ta-ko-a, literally, " will, or mould, I 
go ?" that is, " I really will not, or mould not go :" and on the contrary, 
a negative query imports an affirmative aflertion ; as A-kai-u-qua-ta-ko-a^ 
" mould not I go ?" or, " I furely mould go." Ee-d-ko A-pd-ret Sa-kdi-a- 
qua-ta-ko-a^ is literally, " if I ate, mould not I be fatisfied ?" which implies, 
" if I ate, I mould be fully fatisfied. To drinking, they apply a word that 
lignifies content ; and indeed, they are moft eager to drink any fort of fpi- 
ritous liquors, when their bellies are quite full. When they are tired with 
drinking, if we fay to any of them, Un-ta Ang-go-na Che-ma-hijh-ko-la Chit, 
" Well, my friend, I will drink with you ;" Che-a-yook-pa-cbee-re T'oo-gat^ 
" for, indeed, I rejoice in your company ;" he replies, Hm-a^ Ook-ka 
Hoo-me Hijh-ko Sa-nook-td-ra , which is, " No ; for I am content with 
drinking bitter waters." They conftantly prefix the fubftantive before the 
adjective, and place the accufative cafe before the verb. If we tranflate 
the following words, Ook-ka Pantr^e Hum-ma Law-wa A-hi/h-ko ie Bta fas, 
they literally fignify, " yefterday I drank a great deal of red-grape water," 
meaning claret. Thus they fay, Tik-ke-ba, Ing-glee-Jhe Frenjhe Ee-lap 
A-bingga E-tee-be, " formerly, when the Englifh and French fought againft 
each other " Fren-Jbe Ing-glee-Jhe A-be-td-le" the French were killed by the 

The verbs are feldom defective, or imperfect : though they may feem to 
be fo to perfons who do not underftand the idiom of their language, they are 
not; they only appear as fuch by the near refemblance of words, which con 
vey a different meaning v& A-hii-a^ " I go," Sa-kai-a, " I am fatisfied with 
eating," and Sal-kai-a^ " I am angry, crofs, vexed, or diflurbed in mind ;" 
Sbee-a, Cbe-kai-a^ and Cbil-kai-a^ in the fecond perfon ; Ai-a* E-kai-a^ and 
Al-kai-a* in the third perfon .fingular. A-pee-fa fignifies " to fee," and 
Al-pee-fa, " ftrait, even, or right ; Al-poo-e-ak, the general name of 
mercantile goods, I fubjoin, as fuch a word is uncommon with them ; they 
feldom ufe fo harm a termination. I (hall here clofe this argument, and hope 

L enough 

74 On t&e defcent ofte American Indians frm the Jews. 

enough hath been faid to give a elear idea of the principles of the Indian 
language and diale&s, its genius and idiom, and ftrong fimilarity to, and 
near coincidence with the Hebrew which will be not eafily accounted for,, 
but by confidering the American Indians as defcended from the Jews. 


They count TIME after the manner of the Hebrews.. 

They divide the year into fpring ftimmer autumn, or the fall of the 
leaf and winter : which the Cheerake Indians call Kogeb, Akooea, Oolekohjle^ 
Kora; and- the Chikkafah and Choktah nation, Qtwlpba, Tome palle, AJhtora- 
moona, Ajhtara. Kogeh is drawn from Anantoge^ the general appellation for 
the fun and moon ; becaufe, when the fun returns from the fonthern hemi- 
fphere, he covers the vegetable world with a green livery. Akooea alludes 
flrongly to the effential divine name, as we have feen in the former argu^ 
ment. With regard to Ookkohfte, " the fall of the leaf," as they call a 
buzzard, Score, or Sook ; and as Soolekohft-e fignifies troublefome, offenfive,. 
difagreeable, the word fignifies,. that " the fall of the year is as dif- 
agreeable a fight, as that of a buzzard." Kora, as with the Hebrews, figni^- 
fies the winter ; and is likevvife the name of a bone : and by joining Hah, 
an Hebrew note of admiration, to the end of it, as Kora-Hah, it becomes 
the proper name of a man, figaifying, " all bones," or very bony. Otocl- 
$ba y " the fpring feafon," is derived from Oolpba^ the name of a bud, or 
to moot out ; becaufe then the folar heat caufes vegetables to bud and> 
fpring. Tomeb fignifies " the folar light," and Patfe, " warm or hot ;'" 
AJhtora, " winter," and Mwna, " prefently," &c. .. 

They number their years by any of thofe four periods, for they have no 
name for a year-, and they fubdivide thefe, and count the year by lunar 
months, like the Ifraelites, who counted by moons, as their name iufficiently 
teftifies ; for they called them DTTV 1 , the plural of HIS- the moon. 

The Indians have no diftincl: proper name for the fun and moon ; one 
w.ord, with a note of diftinaion, exprefles both for example -, the. Cheerake 


Weir manner of counting time, 75 

call the fun Euf-fe A-mn-to-ge^ the day-moon, or fun j" and the latter, 
Neuf-fe A-nan-ti-ge^ or " the night-fun, or moon." In like manner, the 
Chikkafah and Choktah term the one, Ntetak-Ha/eb, and the other, Neennak^ 
Haffih i for Neetak fignifies " a day," and Neennak, " a night." 

Here I cannot forbear remarking, that the Indians call the penis of any 
animal, by the very fame name, Haffe , with this difference only, that the 
termination is in this inftance pronounced fhort, whereas the other is long, 
on purpofe to diftinguifh the words. This bears a ftrong analogy to what 
the rabbins tell us of the purity of the Hebrew language, that " it Is fo 
chafte a tongue, as to have no proper names for the parts of generation." 
The Cheerake can boaft of the fame decency of ftyle, for they call a corn- 
houfe, Watobre and the penis of any creature, by the very fame name j 
intimating, that as the fun and moon influence and ripen the fruits that are 
flored in it, fo by the help of Ceres and Bacchus, Venus lies warm, 
whereas on the contrary, fine Cerere &f Bacchus, friget Venus. 

They count certain very remarkable things, by knots of various colours and 
make, after the manner of the South-American Aborigines ; or by notched 
fquare flicks, which are likewife diftributed among the head warriors, and 
other chieftains of different towns, in order to number the winters, &c. the 
moons alfo their fleeps and the days when they travel , and efpecially cer 
tain fecret intended acts of hoftility. Under fuch a circumftance, if one day 
elapfes, each of them loofens a knot, or cuts off a notch, or elfe makes one, 
according to previous agreement -, which thofe who are in the trading way 
among them, call broken days. Thus they proceed day by day, till the 
whole time is expired, which was marked out, or agreed upon ; and they 
know with certainty, the exact time of any of the aforefaid periods, when 
they are to execute their fecret purpofes, be they ever fo various. The au 
thors of the romantic Spanifli hiftories of Peru and Mexico, have wonder 
fully flretched on thefe knotted, or marked firings, and notched fquare 
flicks, to (hew their own fruitful inventions, and draw the attention and 
furprize of the learned world to their magnified bundle of trifles. 

The method of counting time by weeks, or fevenths, was a very ancient^ 
cuflom, praftifed by the Syrians, Egyptians, and moft of the oriental nations ; 

L 2 and 

76 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

and it evidently is a remain of the tradition of the creation. The Creator, 
indeed, renewed to the Hebrews the old precept of fandtifying the feventh 
day, on a particular occafion. And chriftianity promoted that religious 
obfervance in the weftern world, in remembrance of the work of redemp 
tion. The Greeks counted time by decads, or tens j and the Romans by 
nones, or ninths. The number, and regular periods of the Indians public 
religious feafts, of which prefently, is a good hiftorical proof, that they 
counted time by, and obferved a weekly fabbath, long after their arrival 
on the American continent. 

They count the day alfo by the three fenfible differences of the fun r like 
the Hebrews fun-rife, they term, Hafle kootcha meente^ " the fun's com 
ing out ," noon, or mid-day, Tabookbre , and fun-fet, Haffe Oobea, lite 
rally, " the fun is dead " likewife, Haffe Ookkatbra^ that is, " the fun is 
fallen into the water ," the laft word is compounded of Oakka, water, and 
Etbra^ to fall : it fignifies alfo " to fwim," as inftincl: would direct thofe to 
do, who fell into the water. And they, call dark, Ookklitte derived from 
Ookka^ water, and Illeb, dead ; which fhews their opinion of the fun's difap- 
pearance, according to the ancients, wno faid the fun flept every night in 
the weftern ocean. They fubdivide the day, by any of the aforefaid three 
ftandards as half way between the fun's coming out of the water j and in. 
Jike manner, by midnight, or cock-crowing, &c. 

They begin the year, at the firft appearance of the firft new moon of the 
vernal aequinox, according to the ecclefiaftical year of Mofes : and thole 
fynodical months, each confift of twenty-nine days, twelve hours, and forty 
odd minutes ; which make the moons, alternately, to confift of twenty-nine 
and of thirty days. They pay a great regard to the firft appearance of every 
new moon, and, on the occafion, .always repeat fome joyful founds, and 
ftretch out their hands towards her but at fuch times they offer no public 

I/ Till the 70 years captivity commenced, (according to Dr. Prideaux, 606- 

years before the ChriUian era) the Ifraelites had only numeral names for 

the folar and lunar months, except HUN and D^JINH ; the former fignifies 

a green ear of corn -, and the latter, robuft, or valiant. And by the firft 


r method of counting. jj 

name, the Indians, as an explicative, term their paffover, which the trading 
people call the green-corn dance. As the Ifraelites were a fenfual people, 
and generally underftood nothing but the lhadow, or literal part of the 
law ; fo the Indians clofely imitate them, minding only that traditional part, 
which promifed them a delicious land, flowing with milk and honey. The 
two Jewifh months juft mentioned, were sequinoctial. Abib, or their prefent 
Nifan, was the feventh of the civil, and the firft of the ecclefiaftical year, 
anfwering to our March and April : and Ethanim, which began the civil 
year, was the feventh of that of the ecclefiaftical, the fame as our September 
and October. And the Indians name the various feafons of the year, from 
the planting, or ripening of the fruits. The green-eared moon is the moft 
beloved, or facred, when the firft fruits become fanctified, by being an 
nually offered up. And from this period they count their beloved, or holy 

When -they lack a- full moon, or when they travel, they count by fleeps; 
which is a very ancient cuftom probably, from the Mofaic method of 
counting time, " that the evening and the morning were the firft day." 
Quantity they count by tens, the number of their fingers; which is a 
natural method to all people. In the mercantile way, they mark on the 
ground their numbers, by units ; or by X for ten , which, I prefume they 
learned from the white people, who traded with them. They readily add 
together their tens, and find out the number fought. They call it Takd-ne 
Tldpba, or " fcoring on the ground." But old time they can no way trace, 
only by remarkable circumftances, and asras. As they trade with each 
other, only by the hand, they have no proper name for a pound weight. 

The Cheerake count as high as an hundred, by various numeral names ; 
whereas the other nations of Eaft and Weft-Florida, rife no higher than 
the decimal number, adding units after it, by a conjunction copulative-, 
which intimates, that nation was either more mixed, or more fkilrul, than 
the reft : the latter feems moft probable. They call a thouiund, i>kceb : 
Cbooke Kaiere y " the old," or " the old one's hundred :" and fo do the 
reft, in their various dialects, by interpretation ; which argues their former 
fkill in numbers. 

I ft alt 

y 8 On the defcent </ the American Indians from the Jews. 

I mall here give a fpecimen of the Hebrew method of counting, and 
that of the Cheerake, Chikkafah, and Mufkohge or Creeks, by which fome 
farther analogy will appear between the favage Indians, and their fuppofed 
Ifraelitifh brethren. The Hebrew characters were numeral figures : they 
counted by them alphabetically, (i)> l (2), and fo on to the letter % the 
tenth letter of the alphabet, and which ftands for ten ; then, by prefixing i 
to thofe letters, they proceeded with their rifmg numbers, as N* 1 (n), 
y (12), X (13), T (14), &c. They had words alfo of a numeral power, as 
TH** (i), W (2), *ufov (3), JD1K (4), &c. We Ihall now fee how the Indian 
method of numbering agrees with this old ftandard, as well as with the idiom 
of the Hebrew language in fimilar cafes. 

The Cheerake number thus : Sequo i, Tabre 2> Choeh 3, Nankke 4, 
IJhke 5, Soot are 6, Karekoge 7, Suhndyra 8, Sohnayra 9, Skoeb 10, Soatoo u, 
Taratoo 12, &c. And here we may fee a parity of words between two 
of the Indian nations ; for the Mufkohge term a ftone, Tabre ; which 
glances at the Hebrew, as they not only built with fuch materials, but 
ufed it as a word of number, exprefiive of two. In like manner, IJhke 
" five," fignifies a mother, which feems to mew that their numeral words 
were formerly fignifica-nt ; and that they are one ftock of people. 

The Chikkafah andChoktah count in this manner Cbepbpha i, Toogalo 2, 
Tootchena 3, Oofta 4, Tathlabe 5, Hannahk 6, Untoogalo 7, Untootchena 8, 
Cbakkak 9, Pokoole 10, Pokook Aawa Chephpha, " ten and one," and fo on. 
The Cheerake have an old wafte town, on the Georgia fouth-weft branch of 
Savannah river, called foogalo^ which word may come under the former 
obfervation, upon the numerical word two : and they call a pompion, 
Oofto, which refembles Oofta^ four. 

The Cheerake call twenty, Fabre Skoeb, ' two tens :" and the Chikkafah 
term it, Pokoole Toogalo^ " ten twos :" as if the former had learned to num 
ber from the left hand to the right, according to the Syriac cuftom ; and 
the latter, from the right to the left hand, after the Hebrew manner. The 
former call an hundred, Skoeb Cbcoke ; and, as before obferved, a thoufand, 
Skoeb Chooke Kaiere^ or " the old one's hundred i" for with them, Keiere figni- 
fies " ancient," or aged j whereas //, or Eti-u t exprefles former eld time. 
7 May 

r method of counting. jg? 

May not this have fome explanation, by the " Ancient of days,'* as exprefled 
by the prophet Daniel magnifying the number, by joining one of the 
names of God to it according to a frequent cuftom of the Hebrews ? This 
feems to be illuftrated with fufficient clearnefs, by the numerical method of 
the Chikkafah for they call an hundred, Pokoole Tatbleepa ; and a thou- 
fand, Pokoole fatbleepa Tatbleepa IJhto ; the hft of which is a ftrong double 
fuperlative, according to the ufage of the Hebrews, by a repetition of 
the principal word ; or by affixing the name of God to the end of it,, 
to heighten the number. Ifhto is one of their names of God, expref- 
five of majefty, or greatnefs v and Soottatbleepa *, the name of a drum, de 
rived from Sootte r an earthen pot, and Xatfjleepa t perhaps the name or num 
ber of fome of their ancient legions. 

TheMufkohge method of counting is, Hammai i, Hokkole 2, 'footchena 3, 
Ob/la 4, Cbakape 5, Eepdhge 6, Hoolophdge 7, Cbeenepa 8, Ohftape 9, Po- 
kole 10, &c. I am forry that I have not fufficient fkill in the Mufkohge 
dialect, to make any ufeful obfervations on this head ; however, the reader 
can eafily difcern the parity of language, between their numerical words, and 
thofe of the Chikkafah and Choktah nations ; and may from thence con 
clude, that they were formerly one nation and people. 

I have feen their fymbols, or fignatures, in a heraldry way, to count or 
diftinguifh their tribes, done with what may be called wild exadnefs. The 
Choktah ufe the like in the dormitories of their dead ; which feems to argue, 
that the ancienter and thicker-fettled countries of Peru and Mexico had for 
merly, at leaft, the ufe of hieroglyphic characters-, and that they painted 
the real, or figurative images of things, to convey their ideas. The prefent 
American Aborigines feem to be as fkilful Pantomimi, as ever were thofe 
of ancient Greece or Rome, or the modern Turkifb mutes, who ddcribe 
the meaneft things fpoken-,, by gefture, aftion, and the paffions of the face- 
Two far-diftant Indian nations, who underftand not a word of each other's 
language, will intelligibly converie together, and contract engagements,, 
without any interpreter, in fuch a furprizing manner, as is fcarcely credible. 
As their dialects are guttural,, the indications they. ufe,. with the hand or 

* The double vowels, oo and ee, are always to be joined in one fyllable, and pronounced 


8o On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews, 

fingers, in common difcourfe, to accompany their fpeech, is the reafon that 
ftrangers imagine they make only a gaggling noife, like what we are told of 
the Hottentots, without any articulate found , whereas it is an ancient cuf- 
tom of the eaftern countries, which probably the firft emigrants brought 
with them to America, and ftill retain over the far-extended continent *. 


In conformity to, or after the manner of the Jews, the Indian Americans 
have their PROPHETS, HKSH-PRIESTS, and others of a religious order. As 
the Jews had a fanSum fanftorutn, or mod holy place, fo have all the 
Indian nations ; particularly, the Mufkohge. It is partitioned off by a 
mud-wall about breaft-high, behind the white feat, which always flands 
to the left hand of the red-painted war-feat -, there they depofit their confe- 
crated vefiels, and fuppofed holy utenfils, none of the laity daring to ap 
proach that facred place, for fear of particular damage to themfelves, and 
general hurt to the people, from the fuppofed divinity of the place. 

With the Mufkohge, Hitch JLalage fignifies " cunning men," or perfons 
prefcient of futurity, much the fame as the Hebrew feers. Cbeerat&btge is 
the name of the pretended prophets, with the Cheerake, and nearly ap 
proaches to the meaning of W1J, Nebia, the Hebrew name of a prophet. 
Cheera is their word for " fire," and the termination points out men poffeft 
of, or endued with it. The word feems to allude to the celeftial cherubim, 
fire, light, and fpirit, which centered in O E A, or YOHEWAH. Thefe In 
dians call their pretended prophets alfo Lod-che> " Men refembling the holy 
fire," or as Elohim , for the termination exprelTes a comparifon, and 
Loa, is a contraction of Loak, drawn from r6tf, Eloah, the fingular num 
ber of Dv6N, Elohim, the name of the holy ones. And, as the Mufkohge 

* The firft numbering was by their fingers ; to which cuflom Solomon alludes, Prov. iii. 16. 
*' length of days is in her right hand." The Greeks called this, A^oWfMtftptt^f/r, becaufe 
they numbered on their five fingers : and Ovid fays, Seu, quia tot digitis, per quos numerare fo- 
lemus ', likewife Juvenal, Sua dextra computat annos. Others numbered on their ten fingers, as 
we mny fee in Bede de ratione temporum. And the ancients not only counted, but are faid 
to fpcak with their fingers, Prov. vi. 13, " The wicked man he teacheth with his fingers." 
And Nasvius, in Tarentilla, fays, dat digito literas. 

7 call 

We lr prophets, high-priefls, &c. 8r 

call the noife of thunder, Erowah, fo the Cheerake by inverting it, 
" He is ;" thereby alluding to the divine efience : and, as thofe term the 
lightning Eloa, and believe it immediately to proceed from the voice of IJh- 
tohollo Eloa Aba, it fhews the analogy to the Hebrews, and their fenti- 
ments to be different from all the early heathen world. 

The Indian tradition fays, that their forefathers were pofTefied of an ex 
traordinary divine fpirit, by which they foretold things future, and con- 
trouled the common courfe of nature : and this they tranfmitted to their 
offspring, provided they obeyed the facred laws annexed to it. They be 
lieve, that by the communication of the fame divine fire working on their 
Lodche, they can now effect the like. They fay it is out of the reach of Nana, 
Ookprco, either to comprehend, or perform fuch things, becaufe the beloved 
fire, or the holy fpirit of fire, will not co-operate with, or actuate Hottuk 
Ookpro&fe, " the accurfed people." IJhtohoollo is the name of all their 
prieftly order, and their pontifical office defcends by inheritance to the 
eldeft : thofe friend-towns, which are firmly confederated in their exercifes 
and plays, never have more than one Archi-magus at a time. But lamenefs, 
contrary to the Mofaic law, it muft be confefied, does not now exclude him 
from officiating in his religious function ; though it is not to be doubted, as 
they are naturally a modeft people, and highly ridicule thofe who are inca 
pable of procreating their fpecies, that formerly they excluded the lame and 
impotent. They, who have the leaft knowledge in Indian affairs, know, 
that the martial virtue of the favages, obtains them titles of diftinction ; but 
yet their old men, who 'could fcarcely correct their tranfgrelfing wives, 
much lefs go to war, and perform thofe difficult exercifes, that are eflen- 
tially needful in an active warrior, are often promoted to the pontifical dig 
nity, and have great power over the people, by the pretended fanctity of the 
office. Notwithflanding the Cheerake are now a neit of apoflate hornets, 
pay little refpect to grey hairs, and have been degenerating fafl from 
their primitive religious principles, for above thirty years paft yet, 
before the laft war, Old Hop, who was helplefs and lame, prefided over 
the whole nation, as ArcU-magus, and lived in Choate, their only town 
of refuge. It was entirely owing to the wifdom of thofe who then pre 
fided in South-Carolina, that his dangerous pontifical, and regal-like 
power, was impaired, by their fetting up Atta Kulla Kulla, and fup- 
porting him fo well, as to prevent the then eafy tranfition of an Indian 

M high- 

82 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews* 

high-priefthood into a French American bloody chair, with a bunch of reel 
and black beads ; where the devil and they could as eafily have inftructed 
them in the infernal French catechifm, as they did the Canada Indians : 
as Who killed Chrift ? Anfwer, The bloody Englifh ; &c. * 

To difcover clearly the origin of the Indian religious fyftem, I muft oc- 
cafionally quote as much from the Mofaic inftitution, as the favages feem 
to copy after, or imitate, in their ceremonies ; and only the faint image 
of the Hebrew can now be expected to be difcerned, as in an old, im 
perfect glafs. The priefthood originally centered with the firft male born 
of every family : with the ancient heathens, the royalty was annexed to it, 
in a direct: line ; and it defcended in that manner, as low as the Spartans 
and Romans. But, to fecure Ifrael from falling into heathenifh cuftoms and 
worfhip ; God in the time of Mofes, fet apart the Levites for religious fer- 
vices in the room of the firft-born -, and one high-prieft, was elected 
from the family of Aaron, and anointed with oil, who prefided over the 
reft. This holy office defcended by right of inheritance. However, they 
were, to be free of bodily defects, and were by degrees initiated to their 
holy office, before they were allowed to ferve in it* They were confecrated, 
by having the water of purifying fprinkled upon them, warning all their 
body, and their clothes clean, anointing them with oil, and offering a 

It is not furprizing that the drefs of the old favage Archi-magus^ and that 
of the Levitical high-prieft, is fomewhat different. It may well be fuppofed, 
they wandered from captivity to this far-diftant wildernefs, in a diftreft condi 
tion, where they could fcarcely cover themfelves from the inclemency of heat 
and cold. Befides, if they had always been poffeffed of the greateft affluence, 
the long want of written records would fufficiently excufe the difference ^ 
becaufe oral traditions are liable to variation. However, there are fome 
traces of agreement in their pontifical drefs. Before the Indian Archi- 
magus officiates in making the fuppofed holy fire, for the yearly atonement 

* A wrong belief has a moft powerful efficacy in depraving men's morals, and a right one 
has a great power to reform them. The bloody Romifh bulls, that France fent over to their 
Indian converts, clearly prove the former ; and our peaceable corvduft, as plainly fhewed the 
latter, till Britannia fent out her lions to retaliate. 

7 of 

The ornaments of their high-prieft, 83 

of fin, the Sagan clothes him with a white ephod, which is a waiftcoat 
without fleeves. When he enters on that folemn duty, a beloved attendant 
fpreads a white-dreft buck-fkin on the white feat, which ftands clofe to the 
fuppofed holieft, and then puts fome white beads on it, that are given him 
by the people. Then the Archi-magus wraps around his fhoulders a con- 
fecrated fldn'of the fame fort, which reaching acrofs under his arms, he 
ties behind his back, with two knots on the legs, in the form of a figure 
of eight. Another cuftom he obferves on this folemn occafion, is, inftead 
of going barefoot, he wears a new pair of buck-lkin white maccafenes made 
by himfelf, and ititched with the finews of the fame animal *. The upper 
leather acrofs the toes, he paints, for the fpace of three inches, with a few 
ftreaks of red not with vermilion, for that is their continual war- 
emblem, but with a certain red root, its leaves and ftalk refembling the 
ipecacuanha, which is their fixed red fymbol of holy things. Thefe fhoes he 
never wears, but in the time of the fuppofed paffbver ; for at the end of it, 
they are laid up in the beloved place, or holieft, where much of the like 
fort, quietly accompanies an heap of old, broken earthen ware, conch-fhells, 
and other confecrated things. 

The Mofaic ceremonial inftitutions, are acknowledged by our beft writers, 
to reprefent the Meffiah, under various types and fhadows ; in like manner, 
the religious cuftoms of the American Indians, feem to typify the fame ; 
according to the early divine promife, that the feed of the woman mould 
bruife the head of the ferpent ; and that it mould bruife his heel. The 
Levitical high-prieft wore ^.breaft-plate^ which they called Hofecbim, and on it 
the Urim and Tbummim^ fignifying lights and perfections ; for they are the 
plurals of T)N, Awora, (which inverted makes Erowa) and mxn, fhorahy 

* Obfervant ubi fefta mero pede fabbata reges, 
EC vetus indulget fenibus clemcnta porcis. 

JUVENAL, Sat. vi. 

When the high-prieft entered into the holieft, on the day of expiation, he clothed himfelf 
in white ; and, when he finifhed that day's fervice, he laid afide thofe clothes and left 
them in the tabernacle. Lev. xvi. 23. 

When the Egyptian priefts went to worfhip in their temples, they wore ftipes of white 
parchment. HERODOTUS, Lib. ii. Cap. v. 

M 2 the 

84 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

the law, as it directed them under dark fhadows, to Meffiah, the lamp 
of light and perfections. In refemblance of this facred pectoral, or breaft- 
plate, the American Archi-magus ^ wears a bread-plate, made of a white 
conch-fhell, with two holes bored in the middle of it, through which he 
puts the ends of an otter-fkin ftrap, and fattens a buck-horn white button to 
the outfide of each, as if in imitation of the precious ftones of Urim, which 
miraculoufly blazoned from the high-prieft's bread, the unerring words of 
the divine oracle. Indead of the plate of gold, which the Levite wore on 
his forehead, bearing thefe words, mfT 'h ttnp, Kadejh li Tcbewab, " holy, 
or feparate to God," the Indian wears around his temples, either a 
wreath of fwan-feathers, or a long piece of fwan-fkin doubled, fo as only 
the fine fnowy feathers appear on each fide. And, in likenefs to the 
fiara of the former, the latter wears on the crown of his head, a tuft of 
white feathers, which they call Tatera. He likewife fadens a tuft of blunted 
wild Turkey cock-fpurs, toward the toes of the upper part of his macca-t 
fenes, as if in refemblance to the feventy-two bells, which the Leviti- 
cal high-pried wore on his coat of blue. Thofe are as drong religious 
pontifical emblems, as any old Hebrews could have well chofen, or re 
tained under the like circumdances of time and place. Thus appears the 
Indian Archimagus not as Merubha Begadim, " the man with many- 
clothes," as they called the high-pried of the fecond temple, but with 
clothes proper to himfelf, when he is to officiate in his pontifical 
function, at the annual expiation of fins *. < As religion is the touchdone of 
every nation of people, and as thefe Indians cannot be fuppofed to have 
been deluded out of theirs, feparated from the red of the world, for 
many long- forgotten ages the traces which may be difcerned among' 
them, will help to corroborate the other arguments concerning their, 
origin* 1 

Thefe religious, beloved men are alfo fuppofed to be in great favour with 
the Deity, and able to procure rain when they pleafe. In this relpect alfo, 
we fhall obferve a great conformity to the practice of the Jews. The He 
brew records inform us, that in the moon Abib^ or Nifan, they prayed for 

* The only ornaments that diilinguiflied the high-prieft from the reft, were a coat with 
feventy-two bells, an ephod, or jacket without fleeves, a breaft-plate fct with twelve fiones; 
a linen mitre, and a plate of gold upon his forehead. 

i the. 

tteir pr lefts method of feeking feafonable rains-* 85 

the fpring, or latter rain, to be fo feafonable and fufficient as to give them a 
good harveft. And the Indian Americans have a tradition, that their fore 
fathers fought for and obtained fuch feafonable rains, as gave them plentiful 
crops j and they now feek them in a manner agreeable to the fhadow of 
this tradition.. 

When the ground is parched, their rain-makers^ (as they are commonly 
termed) are to mediate for the beloved red people, with the bountiful holy 
Spirit of fire. But their old cunning prophets are not fond of entering on 
this religious duty, and avoid it as long as they poffibly can, till the mur 
murs of the people force them to the facred attempt, for the fecurity of 
their own lives. If he fails, the prophet is fhot dead, becaufe they are fo 
credulous of his divine power conveyed by the holy Spirit of fire, that 
they reckon him an enemy to the ftate, by averting the general good, and 
bringing defolating famine upon the beloved people. But in general, he is 
fo difcerning in the ftated laws of nature, and fkilful in prieftcraft, that he 
always feeks for rain, either at the full, or change of the moon ; unlefs the 
birds, either by inftincl, or the temperature of their bodies, fhould direct 
him otherwife. However, if in a dry feaforr, the clouds, by the veering of 
the winds, pafs wide of their fields while they are inveighing bitterly 
againft him, fome in fpeeeh, and others in their hearts, he foon changes 
their well-known notes he affumes a difpleafed countenance and car 
riage, and attacks them with bitter reproaches, for their vicious conduct in 
the marriage-ftate, and for their notorious pollutions, by going to the women 
in their religious retirements, and for multifarious crimes that never could 
enter into his head to fufpect them of perpetrating, but that the divinity 
his holy things were endued with, had now fuffered a great decay, although 
he had faded, purified himfelf, and on every other account, had lived an 
innocent life, according to the old beloved fpeeeh : adding, " Loak Ifhto- 
kocllo will never be kind to bad people." He concludes with a religious 
caution to the penitent, advifing them to mend their manners, and the times 
will mend with them : Then they depart with forrow and fhame. The 
old women, as they go along, will exclaim loudly againft the young 
people, and proteft they will watch their manners very narrowly for the 
time to come, as they are fure of their own Heady virtue* 


86 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

If a two-years drought happens, the fynhedrim, at the earneft felicitation 
of the mortified finners, convene in a body, and make proper enquiry 
into the true caufe of their calamities-, becaufe (fay they) it is better 
to fpoil a few roguilh people, than a few roguifh people fhould fpoil Hottuk 
Oretoopah : The lot foon falls upon Jonas, and he is immediately fwallowed 
up. Too much rain is equally dangerous to thole red prophets. I was lately 
told by a gentleman of diftinguifhed character, that a famous rain-maker of 
the Mufkohge was mot dead, becaufe the river over-flowed their fields to 
a great height, in the middle of Auguft, and deftroyed their weighty har- 
veft. They afcribed the mifchief to* his ill-will , as the Deity, they fay, doth 
not injure the virtuous, and defigned him only to do good to the beloved 

In the year 1747, a Nachee warrior told me, that while one of their 
prophets was ufmg his divine invocations for rain, according to the faint 
image of their ancient tradition, he was killed with thunder on the fpot ; 
upon which account, the fpirit of prophecy ever after fubfided among 
them, and he became the laft of their reputed prophets. They believed 
the holy Spirit of fire had killed him with fome of his angry darting 
fire, for wilful impurity; and by his threatening voice, forbad them to 
renew the like attempt and juftly concluded, that if they all lived well, 
they mould fare well, and have proper feafons. This opinion coincides 
with that of the Ifraelites, in taking fire for the material emblem of Yo- 
hewah ; by reckoning thunder the voice of the Almighty above, according 
to the fcriptural language ; by efteeming thunder-flruck individuals under 
the difpleafure of heaven and by obferving and enforcing fuch rules 
of purity, as none of the old pagan nations obferved, nor any, except the 

As the prophets of the Hebrews had oracular anfwers, fo the Indian 
magi, who are to invoke YO HE WAH, and mediate with the fupreme 
holy fire, that he may give feafonable rains, have a tranfparent (lone, of fup- 
pofed great power in aflifting to bring down the rain, when it is put 
in a bafon of water j by a reputed divine virtue, imprefled on one of 
the like fort, in time of old, which communicates it circularly. This 
ftone would fufFer a great decay, they affert, were it even feen by their 
own laity ; but if by foreigners, it would be utterly defpoiled of its divine 


r lefts method of feekingfeafonaile rains. 87 

communicative power. Doth not this allude to the precious blazoning 
ftoncs of Urim and Thummim ? 

In Tymahfe, a lower Cheerake town, lived one of their reputed great 
divine men, who never informed the people of his feeking for rain, 
but at the change, or full of the moon, nnlefs there was fome pro- 
mifing fign of the change of the weather, either in the upper regions, or 
from the feathered kalender ; fuch as the quacking of ducks, the croaking 
of ravens, and from the moiftnefs of the air felt in their quills j confe- 
quently, he feldom failed of fuccefs, which highly increafed his name r 
and profits ; for even when it rained at other times, they afcribed it to the 
interceflion of their great beloved man. Rain-making, in the Cheerake 
mountains, is not fo dangerous an office, as in the rich level lands of the 
Chikkafah country, near the Miflifippi. The above Cheerake prophet had a 
carbuncle, near as big as an egg, which they faid he found where a great rattle- 
fnake lay dead, and that it fparkled with fuch furprizing luftre, as to illumi 
nate his dark winter-houfe, like ftrong flames of continued lightning, to the 
great terror of the weak, who durft not upon any account, approach 
the dreadful fire-darting place, for fear of fudden death. When he died, ic 
was buried along with him according to cuftom, in the town-houfe of Ty 
mahfe, under the great beloved cabbin, which itood in the wefternmoft part 
'of that old fabric, where they who will run the rilk of fearching, may luckily 
find it j but, if any of that family detected them in difturbing the bones of 
their deceafed relation, they would refent it as the bafeft aft of hoftility. 
The inhuman conduct of the avaricious Spaniards toward the dead Peru 
vians and Mexicans, irritated the natives, to the higheft pitch of diftraclion, 
againft thofe ravaging enemies of humanity. The intenfe love the Indians 
bear to their dead, is the reafon that fo few have fallen into the hands of our 
phyficians to difTecl, or anatomife. We will hope alfo, that from a prin 
ciple of humanity, our ague-charmers, and water-cafters, who like birds of 
night keep where the Indians frequently haunt, would not cut up their fel 
low-creatures, as was done by the Spanifh butchers in Peru and Mexico. 

Not long ago, at a friendly feaft, or feaft of love, in Weft-Florida, dur 
ing the time of a long-continued drought, I earneftly importuned the old 
rain-maker, for a fight of the pretended divine ftone, which he had aflured 
me he was pofleffed of ; but he would by no means gratify my re^ueft. He 


88 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

told me, as I was an infidel, literally, "one who fhakes hands with the 
accurfed fpeech," and did not believe its being endued with a divine power,, 
the fight of it could no ways benefit me , and that, as their old unerring 
tradition afTured them, it would fuffcr very great damage in cafe of com 
pliance, he hoped I would kindly acquiefce; efpecially, as he imagined, I 
believed every nation of people had certain beloved things, that might be 
eafily fpoiled by being polluted. I told him I was fully fatisfied with the 
friendly excufe he made to my inconfiderate requeft ; but that I could 
fcarcely imagine there were any fuch beloved men, and beloved things, in fo 
extremely fertile, but now fun-burnt foil. Their crops had failed the year 
before, by reafon of feveral concurring caufes: and, for the moft part of the 
fummer feafon, he had kept his bed through fear of incurring the punifh- 
ment of a falfe prophet ; which, joined with the religious regimen, and 
abftemious way of living he was obliged ftrictly to purfue, it fweated him 
fo feverely, as to reduce him to a fkeleton. I jeded him in a friendly way, 
faying, I imagined, the fupreme holy fire would have proved more kind 
to his honed devotees, than to ficken him fo feverely, efpecially at that 
critical feafon, when the people's food, and his own, entirely depended on 
his health ; that, though our beloved men never undertook to bring 
down feafonable rains, yet we very feldom failed of good crops, and 
always paid them the tenth bafket-full of our yearly produce ; becaufe, 
they perfuaded our young people, by the force of their honed example, 
and kind-hearted enchanting language, to fhun the crooked ways of Hottuk 
Kallakfe, " the mad light people," and honedly to lhake hands with the 
old beloved fpeech that the great, fupreme, fatherly Chieftain, had told 
his Loache to teach us how to obtain peace and plenty, and every other 
good thing while we live here, and when we die, not only to fhun the 
accurfed dark place, where the fun is every day drowned, but likewife to 
live again for ever, very happily in the favourite country. 

He replied, that my fpeech confided of a mixture of good and ill ; 
the beginning of it was crooked, and the conclufion draight. He faid, I 
had wrongfully blamed him, for the effect of the diforderly conduct of the 
red people and himfelf, as it was well known he faded at different times for 
ieveral days together ; at other times ate green tobacco-leaves ; and fome 
days drank only a warm decoction of the button fnake-root, without allowing 


A con'uerfatlon with one of their priejls. 8y 

any one, except his religious attendant, to come near him , and, in every 
other refpect, had honeftly obfervcd the aufrere rules of his religious place, 
according to the beloved fpeech that IJbtoboollo Eloa Aba gave to the Lodche 
ef their forefathers : but Loak Ifotpboollo was forely vexed with nioft of 
their young people for violating the chaftity of their neighbours wives, and 
even among the thriving green corn and peafe, as their beds here/and there 
clearly proved -, thus, they fpoiled the power of his holy things, and 
tempted Minggo IJbto Eloa, " the great chieftain of the thunder," to bind 
up the clouds, and withold the rain. Befides, that the old women were lefs, 
honeft in paying their rain-makers, than the Englifh women behaved to their 
beloved men, unlefs I had fpoken too well of them. The' wives of this and 
the other perfon, he faid, had cheated him, in not paying him any portion 
of the lad year's bad crop, which their own bad lives greatly contributed to, 
as that penurious crime of cheating him of his dues, fufficiently teftified ; 
not to mention a late cuftom, they had contracted fmce the general 
peace, of planting a great many fields of beans and peafe, in diftant places, 
after the fummer-crops were over, on the like difhoneft principle ; likewife 
in affirming, that when the firft harveft was over, it rained for nothing ; 
by that means they had blackened the old beloved fpeech, that JJhtoboollo 
Eloa of old fpoke to his Lodche, and conveyed down to him, only that 
they might paint their own bad actions white. He concluded, by faying, 
that all the chieftains, and others prefent, as well as myfelf, knew now very 
well, from his honeft fpeech, the true caufe of the earth's having been fo 
ftrangely burnt till lately , and that he was afraid, if the hearts of thofe 
light and mad people he complained of, did not fpeedily grow honed, the 
dreadful day would foon come, in which Loak Jfotohoollo would fend Phut- 
iblk Keeraab Iftto, " the great blazing ftar," Tahkane eeklenna, Loak backache, 
" to burn up half of the earth with fire," Pherimmi Aiube, " from the 
north to the fouth," Haffe oobea pera, " toward the fetting of the fun," where 
they fhould in time arrive at the dreadful place of darknefs, be confined 
there hungry, and otherwife forely diftrefl among hifimg fnakes and many 
other frightful creatures, according to the ancient true fpeech that IJhto- 
hoollo Aba fpoke to his beloved Lodche. 

Under this argument, I will alfo mention another ftriking refemblance to 
the Jews, as to their TITHES. As the facerdotal office was fixed in the tribe 

N of 

go On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

of Levi, they had forty-eight cities allotted them from the other tribes. And 
Mofes allures us, in Deut. xiv. 28, 29, that thofe tribes paid them alfo once 
in three years, the tithe, or tenth of all they poflefied, which is fuppofed to 
be about the thirtieth part of their annual pofTefllons , by which means they 
were reafonably maintained, as fpiritual paftors, and enabled to fulfil the 
cxtenfive and charitable application of their dues, as enjoined. 

It hath been already hinted, that the Indian prophets undertake by the 
emanation of the divine fpirit of fire, co-operating with them, to bring down 
proper rains for crops, on the penalty of loofmg their own lives j as the 
Indians reckon that a regular virtuous life will fufficiently enable their great 
beloved men to bring bleffings of plenty to the beloved people ; and if they 
neglect it, they are dangerous enemies, and a great curfe to the community. 
They imagine his prophetic power is alfo reftriftive as to winter-rains, they 
doing more hurt than good ; for they juftly obferve, that their ground fel- 
dom fuflfers by the want of winter-rains. Their fentiments on this head, are 
very ftrong ; they fay, JJhtohoollo Aba allows the winter-rain to fall un- 
fought, but that he commanded their forefathers to feek for the fummer- 
rain, according to the old law, otherwife he would not give it to them. If 
the feafons have been anfvverable, when the ripened harveft is gathered in, 
the old women pay their reputed prophet with religious good-will,, a certain, 
proportional quantity of each kind of the new fruits, meafured in the fame 
large portable back-bafkets, wherein they carried home the ripened fruits. 
This ftated method they yearly obferve - s which is as confonant to the Levi- 
tical inftitution, as can be reafonably expected, efpecially, as their traditions 
have been time out of mind preferved only by oral echo. 

Modern writers inform us, that the Perfees pay a tithe of their revenues 
to the chief Deftour, or Archimagus of a city or province,, who decides 
cafes of confcience, and points of law,, according to the inftitution of Zoro- 
after a mixture of Judaifm and paganifm^ Their annual religious offering 
to the Archimagi, is a mifapplication of the Levitical law concerning tithes,, 
contrary to the ufage of the American Aborigines, which it may be fuppofed. 
they immediately derived from the Hebrews , for, as the twelfth tribe was 
devoted to the divine fervice, they were by divine appointment, maintained, 
at the public expence. However, when we confider that their government was 
7- of 

ir payment of tithes to their prlcjls. - 9t 

of a mixed kind firft a theocracy then by nobles, and by kings and at 
other times by [heir high-prieft, it feems to appear pretty plain, that the Deity 
raifcd, preferved, and -governed thofe people, to oppofe idolatry, and con 
tinue, till the fulnefs of time came, the true divine worfliip on earth, under 
ceremonial dark fhadows, without exhibiting their government in the leaft, 
as a plan of future imitation. Befides, as Meffiah is come, according to the 
predictions of the divine oracles, which reprefented him under various 
ftrong types and ihadows, furely chriftians ought to follow the copy of their 
humble Mafter and his holy difciples, and leave the fleecing of the flock to 
the avaricious Jews, whofe religious tenets, and rapacious principles, fup- 
port them in taking annual tithes from each other-, who affect to believe 
that all the Mofaic law is perpetually binding, and that the predicted Shilo, 
who is to be their purifier, king, prophet, and high-prieft, is not yet come. 
The law of tithing, was calculated only for the religious ceconomy of the 
Hebrew nation , for as the merciful Deity, who was the immediate head of 
that ftate, had appropriated the Levites to his fervice, and prohibited them 
purchafing land, left they fhould be feduced from their religious duties* 
by worldly cares, He, by a moft bountiful law, ordered the ftate to give 
them the tithe, and other offerings, for the fupport of themfelves and their 
numerous families, and alfo of the widow, the fatherlefs, and the itranger. 

I fhail infert a dialogue, that formerly pafled between the Chik-* 
kafah Loache and me, which will illuftrate both this, and other par 
ticulars of the general fubject ; and alfo fhew the religious advantages 
and arguments, by which the French ufed to undermine us with the 

We had been fpeaking of trade, which is the ufual topic of difcourfe 
with thofe craftfmen. I afked him how he could reafonably blame the 
Englifh traders for cheating Tekape Mmmdh> " the red folks," even al 
lowing his accufations to be juft ; as he, their divine man, had cheated 
them out of a great part of their crops, and had the aflurance to claim it as 
his religious due, when at the fame time, if he had fhaked hands with the 
ftraight old beloved fpeech, or ftrictly obferved the ancient divine law, 
his feeling heart would not have allowed him to have done fuch black 
and crooked things, efpecially to the helplefs, the poor, and the aged; 

N 2 it 

9 2 On the defcent of the American Indians from the jfews f 

it rather would have ftrongly moved him to flretch out to them a kind and 
helping hand, according to the old beloved fpeech of IJhtohoollo Aba to his 
Hottuk Ifljtohoollo, who were fufficiently fupported at the .public expence, 
and ftrictly ordered to fupply with the greateft-tendernefs, the wants of 

He fmartly retorted my objections, telling me, that the white people's 
excufes for their own wrong conduct, were as falfe and weak as my com 
plaints were againft him. The red people, he faid, jaw very clearly through 
fuch thin black paint -, though, his facred employment was equally hid 
from them and me j by which means, neither of us could reafonably pre 
tend to be proper judges of his virtuous conduct, nor blame him for the ne- 
ceflary effect of our own crimes , or urge it as a plea for cheating him out. 
of his yearly dues, contrary to the old divine fpeech, for the crops became 
light by their own vicious conduct, which fpoiled the power of his holy 
things.. So that it was vifible, both the red and white people were, 
commonly too partial to themfelves ; and that by the bounty of the fupreme 
fatherly Chieftain, it was as much out of his power, as diftant from his 
kindly heart, either to wrong the beloved red people, or the white nothings; 
and that it became none, except mad light people, to follow the crooked 
fteps of Hottuk Ookproofe, the accurfed people. 

As there was no interruption to our winter-night's chat, I afked him in a 
friendly manner, whether he was not afraid, thus boldly to fnatch at the di 
vine power of distributing rain at his pleafure, as it belonged only to the 
great beloved 'thundering Chieftain, who dwells far above the clouds, in the 
new year's unpolluted holy fire, and who gives it in common to all nations of 
people alike, and even to every living, creature over the face of the whole 
earth, becaufe he made them and his merciful goodnefs always prompts 
him to fup.ply the wants of all his creatures. He told me, that by an ancient 
tradition, their Lodche were pofiefled of art extraordinary divine power, 
by which they foretold, hidden things, and by the beloved, fpeech 
brought down fhowers of plenty to the beloved people ; that he very 
well knew, the giver of virtue to nature refided on earth in the un 
polluted holy fire, and likewife above the clouds and the fun, in the 
ihape of a fine fiery fubftance, attended by a great many beloved peo 
ple j and that he continually weighs us, and meafures out good or bad 


. French tricks to feduce the Indians to their inter eft. 9} 

things to us, according to our actions. He added, that though the former 
beloved fpeech had a long time fubfided, it was very reasonable they 
fhould (till continue this their old beloved cuftom -, efpecially as it was both 
profitable in ftsp porting many of their helplefs old beloved men, and very 
productive of virtue, by awing their young people from violating the ancient 
laws. This (hewed him to be cunning in prieftcraft, if noc pofiefied of a 
tradition from the Hebrew records, that their prophets by the divine power, 
had, on material occafions, acted beyond the ftated laws of nature, and 
wrought miracles. 

My old prophetic friend told me, with a good deal of furprize, that 
though the beloved red people had by fome means or other, loft the 
old beloved fpeech -, yet Frenjhe Lakkane ookproo, " the ugly yellow 
French," (as they term the Miffifippians) had by fome wonderful method- 
obtained it ; for his own people, he aflured me, had feen them at New 
Orleans to bring down rain in a very dry feafon, when they were giving out 
feveral bloody fpeeches to their head warriors againft the Englifh Chikkafah, 
traders. On a mifchievous politic invitation of the French, feveral of the 
Chikkafah had then paid them a vifit, in the time of an alarming drought 
and a general fad, when they were praying for fealbnable rains at mafs. 
When they came, the interpreter was ordered to tell them, that the French 
had holy places and holy things, after the manner of the red people that 
if their young people proved honeft, they could bring down rain whenever 
they ftood in need of it and that this was one of the chief reafons which 
induced all the various nations of the beloved red people to bear them fo 
intenie -a love , and, on the contrary, fo violent and inexpreffible an hatred; 
even to the very name of the Englim, becaufe every one of them was marked; 
with Anumlole Ookkpro^ " th curfe of God." 

The method the Chikkafah prophet ufed in relating the affair, has fome- 
humour in it for their ignorance of the chriftian religion, and inftitutions^ 
perplexes them when they, are on the fubject j. on which account I ihalk 
literally tranfcribe it, 

He told me, that the Chikkafah warriors during three fucceflive days,, 

accompanied the French Lodcbe and IfhtchooHo to the great, beloved houfe,, 

where a large bell hung a-top, which ftrange fight exceedingly. furprizecL 

7 them <,, 

94 Ott the defcmt of tie American Indians from the Jews. 

them , for, inflead of being fit for a horfe, it would require a great many 
ten horfes to carry it. Around the infide of the beloved houfe, there was 
a multitude of he and (he beloved people, or male and female faints or 
angels, whofe living originals, they affirmed, dwelt above the clouds, and 
helped them to get every good thing from Ijhtohoollo Aba^ when they earneftly 
crave their help. The French beloved men fpoke a great deal with much 
warmth , the reft were likewife bufily employed in imitation of their Ijhto- 
hoollo and Lodche. At one time they fpoke high, at another low. One chofe 
this, and another chofe that fong. Here the men kneeled before the" images 
of their me-beloved people , there the women did the like before their fa 
vourite and beloved he-pictures, entreating them for forne particular favour 
which they ftood in need of. Some of them, he faid, made very wild mo 
tions over their heads and breafts ; and others ftruck their ftomachs with a 
vehemence like their warriors, when they drink much Ookka Homma, " bitter 
.waters," or fpirituous liquor ; while every one of them had a bunch of 
mixed beads, to which they frequently fpoke, as well as counted over ; 
that they loved thefe beads, for our people ftriclly obferved, they did 
not give them to their Lodche and TJhtoboollo, as the red people would have 
done to thofe of their own country, though it was very plain they de- 
ferved them, for beating themfelves fo much for the young people's roguifh 
actions-, and likewife for labouring fo ftrongly in pulling off their clothes, 
and putting them on again, to make the beloved phyfic work, which 
they took in fmall pieces, to help to bring on the rain. On the third 
day (added he) they brought it down in great plenty, which was certainly 
a very difficult performance ; and as furprizing too, that they who are 
always, when opportunity anfwers, perfuading the red people to take up the 
bloody hatchet againft their old fteady friends, mould ftill have the beloved 
fpeech, which Ijhtohoollo Aba Eloa formerly fpoke to his beloved Lodche. 
Thus ended our friendly difcourfe. 


Their FESTIVALS, FASTS, and RELIGIOUS RITES, have alfo a great re- 
femblance to thofe of the Hebrews. It will be neceflary here to take a mort 
view of the principal Jewim feafts, &c. They kept every year, a facred 
feaft called the Paflbver, in memory of their deliverance from Egyptian 


Their fefttvalst religious rites, ?V. 95 

bondage. Seven days were appointed, Lev. xxiii. To thefe they added 
an eighth, through a religious principle, as preparatory, to clear their houfes 
of all leaven, and to fix their minds before they entered on that religious 
duty. The name of this feftival is derived from a word which fignifies 
to " pafs over j" becaufe, when the deftroying angel flew through the 
Egyptian houfes, and killed their firft-born, he pafied over thofe of the 
Ifraelites, the tops of whofe doors were flamed with the blood of the 
lamb, which they were ordered to kill. This folemnity was inftituted with 
the ftrongeft injunctions, to let their children know the caufe of that ob- 
fervance, and to mark that night through all their generations. 

Three days before this facred feftival, they chofe a lamb, without fpot 
or blemim, and killed it on the evening of the fourteenth day of Abib 
which was the firft moon of the ecclefiaftical, and the feventh of the civil 
year ; and they ate it with bitter herbs, without breaking any of the 
bones of it, thus prefiguring the death of Mefliah. This was the reafon 
that this was the chief of the days of unleavened bread, and they were 
ilrictly forbidden all manner of work on that day , befides, no uncir- 
cumcifed, or unclean perfons ate of the pafchal lamb. Thofe of the peo 
ple, whom difeafes or long journies prevented from obferving the pafibver 
on that day, were obliged to keep it in the next moon. 

On the fixteenth day, which was the fecond of the paflbver, they offered 
up to God a fheaf of the new barley-harveft, becaufe it was the earlieft 
grain. The prieft carried it into the temple, and having cleaned and 
parched it, he grinded or pounded it into flower, dipt it in oil, and then 
waved it before the Lord, throwing fome into the fire. The Jews were for 
bidden to eat any of their new harveft, till they had offered up a flieaf, the 
grain of which filled an omer, a fmall meafure of about five pints. All 
was impure and unholy till this oblation was made, but afterwards it be 
came hallowed, and every one was at liberty to reap and get in his harveft. 

On the tenth day of the moon Ethanim, the firft day of the civil year, 
they celebrated the great, faft, or feaft of expiation, afflidled their fouls, and 
ate nothing the whole day. The high-prieft offered fcveral facrifices, and 
having carried the blood of the victims into the temple, he fprinkled it 
upon the altar of incenfe, and the veil that was before the holieft ; and went 


96 On the decent of tbc American Indians from tbe yews. 

into that nioft facred place, where the divine Shekinah refided, carrying a 
center imoking in his hand with incenfe, which hindered him Jrom having 
a clear fight of the ark. But lie- was not allowed to enter that holy place, 
only once a year, on this great day of expiation, to offer the general lacil- 
fice both for the fins of the people and of himfelf. Nor did he ever mention 
the divine four- lettered name, YO HE WAH, except on this -great day, 
when he blcITed the people. 

Becaufe the Ifraelites lived in tabernacles, or booths, while they were in 
the wildernefs ; as a memorial therefore of the divine bounty to them, 
they were commanded to keep the feaft of tabernacles, on the fifteenth 
day of the month Tifri, which they called Ro/h Hofancb, or Hojrjianab^ i: 
lafted eight days; during which time, they lived in arbours, (covered with 
green boughs of trees, unlefs when they went to worfhip at the temple, 
or fung Hojhaniyo around the altar. When they were on this religious duty, 
they were obliged each to carry in their hands a bundle of the branches 
of willows, palm-trees, myrtles, and others of different forts, laden with 
fruit, and tied together with ribbons ; and thus rejoice together with the 
appointed fingers, and vocal and instrumental mufic, in the divine prefence 
before the altar. On the eighth day of the feaft, one .of the priefts brought 
fome water in a golden veffcl, from' the pool of Siloam, mixed it with 
wine, and poured it on the morning-facrifice, and the firft fruits of their 
latter crops which were then prefented, as an emblem of the divine graces 
that fhould flow to them, when Shilo came, who was to be their anointed 
king, prophet, and high-pried The people in the mean time finging out 
of liaiah " with joy fhall ye draw water out of the wells of falvation." 

Let us now turn to the copper colour American Hebrews. While their 
fanctified new fruits are dreffing, a religious attendant is ordered to call 
fix of their old beloved women to come to the temple, and dance the be 
loved dance with joyful hearts, according to the old beloved fpecch. They 
cheerfully obey, and enter the fuppofed holy ground in folemn procefiion, 
each carrying in her hand a bundle of fmall branches of various green trees ; 
and they join the fame number of old magi, or priefts, who carry a cane in 
one hand adorned with white feathers, having likewife green boughs in their 
other hand, which they pulled from their holy arbour,, and carefully place 
there, encircling it with fevcral rounds. Thofe beloved men have their heads 


neir religious fejli'ualst fafts t &c. 97 

drefled with white plumes-, but the women are decked in their fineft, and 
anointed with bear's- greafe, having fmall tortoife-fliells, and white peb 
bles, faftened to a piece of white-dreft deer-fkin, which is tied to each of 
their legs. 

The eldeft of the priefts leads the facred dance, a-head of the innermoft 
row, which of courfe is next to the holy fire. He begins the dance round 
the fuppofed holy fire, by invoking YAH, after their ufual manner, on a bafs 
key, and with a fhort accent -, then he fings YO YO, which is repeated by the 
reft of the religious procefllon ; and he continues his facred invocations and 
praifes, repeating the divine word, or notes, till they return to the fame point 
of the circular courfe, where they began : then HE HE in like manner, 
and WAH WAH. While dancing they never fail to repeat thofe notes ; and 
frequently the holy train ftrike up Halelu, Halelu ; then Haleluiab, Halelu- 
Tab t and ALELUIAH and ALELU-YAH, " Irradiation to the divine efience," 
with great earneftnefs and fervor, till they encircle the altar, while each 
ftrikes the ground with right ad left feet alternately, very quick, but well- 
timed. Then the awful drums join the facred choir, which incite the old 
female fingers to chant forth their pious notes, and grateful praifes be 
fore the divine eflence, and to redouble their former quick joyful fteps, in 
imitation of the leader of the facred dance, and the religious men a-head of 
them. What with the manly ftrong notes of the one, and the fhrill voices 
of the other, in concert with the bead-iHells, and the two founding, drum- 
like earthen veflels, with the voices of the muficians who beat them, the 
reputed holy ground echoes with the praifes of YO HE WAH. Their 
finging and dancing in three circles around their facred fire, appears to have 
a reference to a like religious cuftom of the Hebrews. And may we not rea- 
fonably fuppofe, that they formerly underftood the pfalms, or divine hymns ? 
at lead thofe that begin with Halelu-Tah ; otherwife, how came all the inha 
bitants of the extenfive regions of North and South-America, to have, and 
retain thofe very expreflive Hebrew words ? or how repeat them fo diftinclly, 
and apply them after the manner of the Hebrews, in their religious accla 
mations .? The like cannot be found in any other countries. 

In like manner, they fing on other religious occafions, and at their feafts 
of love, Ale-To Ale-To ; which is Vtf, the divine name, by his attribute of 
omnipotence ; and % alluding to miT . They fing likewife Hewab Hewabj 
which is JTH " the immortal foul 5" drawn from the divine eflemial name, 

O as 

9&' On tie dejcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

as deriving its rational faculties from YOHEWAH. Thofe words that they 
fing in their religious dances, they never repeat at any other time -, which, 
feems to have greatly occafioned the lofs of the meaning of their divine 
hymns -, for I believe they are now fo corrupt, as not to underftand either 
the fpiritual or literal meaning of what they fing,. any further than by 

In their circuiting dances, they frequently fing on a bafs key, A luc Alui' t 
dlube* Aluhe, and Aluwab Aluwab^ which is the Hebrew mbtf. They like- 
wife fing SbHu-To Sbilu-To, Shilu-He Sbilu-He, Sbilu-Wab Sbilu-Wab, and 
Shilu-Hah Shilu-Hak. They tranfpofe them alfo feveral ways, but with the 
very fame notes. The three terminations make up in their order the four- 
lettered divine name. Habis a note of gladnefs the word preceding it, , 
Sbilti, feems to exprefs the predicted human and divine mb'W, Shiloh, who 
was to be the purifier, and peace-maker. 

They continue their grateful divine hymns for the fpace of fifteen 
minutes, when the dance breaks up. As they degenerate, they lengthen 
their dances, and fhorten the time of their fafts and purifications ; infomuch, 
that they have fo exceedingly corrupted their primitive rites and cufloms, 
within the fpace of the laft thirty years, that, at the fame rate of declen- 
fion, there will not be long a poffibility of tracing their origin, but by their 
di.alecls, and war-cuftoms, 

At the end of this notable religious dance, the old beloved, or holy wo 
men return home to haften the feaft of the new-fanclified fruits. In the 
mean while, every one at the temple drinks very plentifully of the Cufleena 
and other bitter liquids, to cleanfe their firiful bodies-, after which, they go 
to fome convenient deep water, and 1 there, according to the ceremonial taw 
of the Hebrews, they waft away their fins with water. Thus fandified, 
they return with joyful hearts in folemn proceffion, finging their notes of 
praife, till they enter into the holy ground to eat of the new delicious fruits 
of wild Canaan *. The women now with the utmoft cheerfulnefs, bring to 

* They are fo ftriftly prohibited from eating fait, or flefli-meat, till the fourth day, that 
during the interval, the very touch of either is accounted a great pollution : after that period, 
they are deemed lawful to be eaten. All the hunters, and able-bodied men, kill and barbecue 
wild game in the woods, at leaft ten days before this great feftival, and religioufly keep ic 
for that facred ufe. 


Their religious feflivals, fafts, &c. 90 

the outfide of the facred fquare, a plentiful variety of all thofe good things, 
with which the divine fire has blefied them in the new year ; and the reli 
gions attendants lay it before them, according to their Rated order and 
reputed merit. Every feat is ferved in a gradual fucceflion, from the white 
and red imperial long broad feats, and the whole fquare is foon covered : 
frequently they have a change of courfes of fifty or fixty different forts, and 
thus they continue to regale themfelves, till the end of the feflival ; for they 
reckon they are now to feaft themfelves with joy and gladnefs, as the divine 
fire is appeafed for paft crimes, and has propitioufly fanctified their weighty 
harveft. They all behave fo modedly, and are pofTefTed of fuch an extra 
ordinary conftancy and equanimity, in the purfuit of their religious myfte- 
ries, that they do not (he\y the lead outward emotion of pleafure, at the firft 
fight of" the fanctified new fruits ; nor the lead uneafinefs to be tafting thofe 
tempting delicious fat things of Canaan. If one of them acted in a contrary 
manner, they would fay to him, Che-Hakfet Kaneha, " You refemble fuch 
as were beat in Canaan." This unconcern, doubtlefs proceeded originally 
from a virtuous principle -, but now, it may be the mere effect of habit : for, 
jealoufy and revenge excepted, they feem to be diveded of every mental 
pafiibn, and entirely incapable of any lading affection. 

I mail give an inftance of this. If the hufband has been a year abfent on 
a vifit to another nation, and fhould by chance overtake his wife near home, 
with one of his children (kipping along fide of her ; inftead of thofe fudden 
and ftrong emotions of joy that naturally arife in two generous breads at 
fuch an unexpected meeting, the felf-intereded pair go along as utter 
ftrangers, without feeming to take the lead notice of one another, till a con- 
fiderable time after they get home. 

The Indians formerly obferved the grand fedival of the annual expiation of 
fin, at the beginning of the firft new moon, in which their corn became full- 
eared , but for many years pad they are regulated by the feafon of their har- 
veft. And on that head, they mew more religious patience than the Hebrews 
formerly did ; who, indead of waiting till their grain was ripe, forced 
their barley, which ripened before any other fort they planted. And they 
are perhaps as fkilful in obferving the revolutions of the moon, as 
ever the Israelites were, at lead till the end of the fird temple j for during 
that period, indead of meafuring time by aftronomical calculations, they 

O 2 knew 

joo On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

knew it only by the phafes of the moon. In like manner, the fuppofed red 
Hebrews of the American defarts, annually obferved their feftivals, and 
Neetak Ydb-abj " days of afflicting themfelves before the Deity," at a pre 
fixed time of a certain moon. To th day, a war-leader, wha, by the 
number of his martial exploits is entitled to a drum, always fanctifies hinv 
felf, and his out-ftanding company, at the end of the old moon, fo as to go 
off at the appearance of the new one by day-light ; whereas, he who has 
not fufEciently diftinguifhed himfelf, muft fet out in the night. 

As the firft of the Neetak Hoollo, precedes a long drift faft of twa 
nights and a day, they gormandize fuch a prodigious quantity of ftrong 
food, as to enable them to keep inviolate the fucceeding fail, the fab- 
bath of fabbaths, the Neetak Tab-ab : the feaft lafts only from morning 
till fun-fet. Being great lovers of the ripened fruits, and only tantalized 
as yet, with a near view of them ; and having lived at this feafon, but 
meanly on the wild products of nature fuch a faft as this may be truly 
faid to afflict their fouls, and to prove a fuffieient trial of their religious 
principles. During the feftival, fome of their people are clofely em 
ployed in putting their temple in proper order for the annual expiation ; 
and others are painting the white cabbin, and the fuppofed holieft, with 
white clay ; for it is a facred, peaceable place, and white is its emblem. 
Some, at the fame time are likewife painting the war-cabbin with red clay, 
or their emblematical red root, as occafion requires ; while others of an in 
ferior order, are covering all the feats of the beloved fquare with new mat- 
treffes, made out of the fine fplinters of long canes, tied together with 
flags. In the mean time, feveral of them are bufy in fweeping the temple, 
clearing it of every fuppofed polluting thing, and carrying out the afties from 
the hearth which perhaps had not been cleaned fix times fince the laft 
year's general offering. Several towns join together to make the annual 
facrifice -, and, if the whole nation lies in a narrow cornpafe, they make but 
one annual offering : by which means, either through a fenfual or religious 
principle, they ftrike off the work with joyful hearts. Every thing being 
thus prepared, the Arcbi-magus orders fome of his religious attendants ta 
dig up the old hearth, or altar, and ta fweep out the remains that by chance 
might either be left, or drop down. Then he puts a few roots of the but 
ton -fnake- root, with fome green leaves of an uncommon fmall fort of tobacco* 
and a little of the new fruits, at the bottom of the fire-place, which h* 

i ciders 

r religious feftii)ah, fajts, &V. 162 

orders to be covered up with white marley clay, and wetted over with clean 
water *. 

Immediately, the magi order them to make a thick arbour over the altar, 
with green branches of the various young trees, which the warriors had de- 
fignedly chofen, and laid down on the outfide of the fuppofed holy ground : 
the women, in the interim are bufy at home in cleaning out their houfes, 
renewing the old hearths, and cleanfing all their culinary veflels, that they 
may be fit to receive the pretended holy fire, and the fanetified new fruits, 
according to the purity of the law ; left by a contrary conduct, they mould 
incur damage in life, health, future crops, &c. It is frefh in the memory 
of the old traders, that formerly none of thefe numerous nations of Indians 
would eat, or even handle any part of the new harveft, till fome of it had 
been offered up at the yearly feftival by the Arcki-magus^ or thofe of 
his appointment, at their plantations, though the light harveft of the paft 
year had forced them to give their women and children of the ripening 
fruits, to fuftain life. Notwithftanding they are vifibly degenerating, both 
in this, and every other religious obfervance, except what concerns war-, 
yet their magi and old warriors live contentedly on fuch harm food as nature 
affords them in the woods, rather than tranfgrefs that divine precept given 
to their forefathers. 

Having every thing in order for the facred folemnity, the religious 
waiters carry off the remains of the feaft, and lay them on the outfide of the 
fquare ; others of an inferior order carefully fweep out the fmalleft crumbs, 
for fear of polluting the firft-fruit offering ; and before fun-fet, the 
temple muft be cleared, even of every kind of vefiel or utenfiJ, that had 
contained, or been ufed about any food in that expiring year. The women 
carry all off, but none of that fex, except half a dozen of old beloved 
women, are allowed in that interval to tread on the holy ground, till the 
fourth day. Now, one of the waiters proclaims with a loud voice, for all 
the warriors and beloved men, whom the purity of the law admits, to come 
and enter the beloved fquare, and obferve the faft , he likewife exhorts all 

* Under the palladium of Troy, were placed things of the like nature, as a prefervative 
from evil ; but the above practice feems to be pretty much tempered with the Mofaic infti- 
tution ; for God commanded them to make an altar of earth, to facrifice thereon. 
Exud, xx. 24. 


>i 02 On tie defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

the women and children, and thofe who have not initiated themfelves in war, 
to ''keep apart from them, according to law. Should any of them prove 
difobedient, the young ones would be dry-fcratched, and the others ftript of 
every thing they had on them. They obferve the fame ftrid law of purity, 
in their method of fanctifying themfelves for war, in order to obtain the 
divine protection, affiftance, and fuccefs. But a few weeks fince, -when 
a large company of thefe warlike favages were on the point of fetting 
off to commence war againft the Mufkohge, fome of the wags decoyed a 
heedlefs trader into their holy ground, and they ftript him, fo as to oblige 
him to redeem his clothes with vermilion. And, on account of the like 
trefpafs, they detained two Indian children two nights and a day, till their 
obftinate parents paid the like ranfom. 

Their great beloved man, or Archi-magus^ now places four centinels, one 
at each corner of the holy fquare, to keep out every living creature as im 
pure, except the religious order, and the warriors who are not known 
to have violated the law of the firft-fruit-offering, and that of mar 
riage, fince the laft year's expiation. Thofe centinels are regularly relieved, 
and firm to their facred truft ; if they difcerned a dog or cat on the out- 
limits of the holy fquare, before the firft-fruit-ofFering was made, they 
would kill it with their arrows on the fpot. 

They obferve the fafl till the rifing of the fecond fun '; and be they ever 
fo hungry in that facred interval, the healthy warriors deem the duty fo 
awful, and the violation fo inexpreflibly vicious, that no temptation would 
induce them to violate it ; for, like the Hebrews, they fancy temporal evils 
are the neceflary effect of their immoral conduit, and they would for ever 
ridicule and reproach the criminal for every bad occurrence that befel him 
in the new year, as the finful author of his evils; and would fooner 
moot themfelves, than fnfFer fuch long-continued (harp difgrace. The reli 
gious attendants boil a fufficient quantity of button-fnake-roor, highly im- 
bittered, and give it round pretty warm, in order to vomit and purge 
their finful bodies. Thus they continue to mortify and purify themfelves, 
till the end of the fad. When we confider their earneft invocations of the 
divine efience, in this folemnity their great knowledge of fpecific virtues 
in fimples that they never apply the aforefaid root, only on religious occa- 
fions that they frequently drink it to fuch excefs as to impair their health, 
i and 

ttefr religious feftmals) fafts, &c. ) 03 

and fometimes fo as to poifon themfelves by its acrid quality and take into 
the account, its well-known medicinal property of curing the bite of the 
moft dangerous fort of the ferpentine generation i muft not one think, that 
the Aboriginal Americans chofe it, as a ilrong emblem of the certain cure 
of the bite of the old ferpent in Eden. / 

That the women and children, and thofe worthlefs fellows who have 
not hazarded their lives in defence of their holy places and holy things, 
and for the beloved people, may not be entirely godlefs, one of the old be 
loved men lays down a large quantity of the fmall-leafed green tobacco, on 
the outfide of a corner of the facred fquare ; and an old beloved woman, 
carries it. off, and diftributes it to the finners without, in large pieces, which 
they chew heartily, and fwallow, in order to afflict their foul. c . She com 
mends thofe who perform the duty with cheerfulnefs, and chides thofe who 
feem to do it unwillingly, by their wry faces on account of the bitternefs 
of the fuppofed fanctifying herb. She diftributes it in fuch quantities, as 
me thinks are equal to their capacity of finning, giving to the reputed, 
worthlefs old He-hen-pickers, the proportion only of a child, becaufe me 
thinks fuch fpiritlefs pictures of men cannot fin with married women ; as all 
the females love only the virtuous manly warrior, who has often fuccefsfully. 
accompanied the beloved ark. 

In the time of this general faft, the women, children, and men of weak 
conftitutions, are allowed to eat, as foon as they are certain the fun 
has begun to decline from his meridian altitude-, but not before that pe- 
riod. Their indulgence to the fick and weak, feems to be derived from di 
vine precept, which forbad the offering of facnfice at the coft of mercy ; 
and the fnake-root joined with their fanctifying bitter green tobacco, feem 
to. be as flrong exprefTive emblems as they could have poffibly chofen, ac 
cording to their fituation in life, to reprefent the facred inftitution of. 
eating the pafchal lamb, with bitter herbs ; and to (hew, that though the, 
old ferpent bit us in Eden, yet there is a branch from the root of Jeffe, to 
be hoped for by thofe who deny themfelves their preltnt fweet tafte, which 
will be a fufficient purifier, and effect the cure. 

The whole time of this faft may with truth be called a faft, and to the. 
cgus, to all the magi, and pretended prophets, in particular -, for, by 

ancient c. 

104 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

ancient cuftom, the former is obliged to eat of the fanctifying fmall-leafed 
tobacco, and drink the fnake-root, in a feparate hut for the fpace of 
three days and nights without any other fubfiftence, before the folemnity 
begins i befides his full portion along with the reft of the religious order, and 
the old war-chieftains, till the end of the general faft, which he pretends 
to obferve with the ftrideft religion. After the firft-fruits are fanftified, 
he lives moft abftemioufly till the end of the annual expiation, only 
fucking water-melons now and then to quench thirft, and fupport life, fpit- 
ting out the more fubftantial part. 

By the Levitical law, the priefts were obliged to obferve a ftrider fanftity 
of life than the laity ; all the time they were performing the facerdotal offices, 
both women and wine were ftrictly forbidden to them. Thus the Indian 
religious are retentive of their facred myfteries to death, and the Arcbi-magus 
is vifibly thin and meagre at the end of the folemnity. That rigid felf- 
denial, feems to have been defigned to initiate the Levite, and give the reft 
an example of leading an innocent fimple life, that thereby they might be 
able to fubdue their unruly paflions ; and that by mortifying and purifying 
himfelf fo exceflively, the facrifice by paffing through his pure hands, may 
be accepted, and the holy Spirit of fire atoned, according to the divine law. 
The fuperannuated religious are alfo emulous in the higheft degree, of ex 
celling one another in their long fafting , for they firmly believe, that fuch 
an annual felf-denying method is fo highly virtuous, when joined to an obe 
dience of the reft of their laws, as to be the infallible means of averting evil, 
and producing good things, through the new year. They declare that 
a fteady virtue, through the divine co-operating favour, will infallibly infure 
them a lafting round of happincfs. 

At the end of this folemn faft, the women by the voice of a crier, 
bring to the outfide of the holy fquare, a plentiful variety of the old 
year's food newly dreft, which they lay down, and immediately return 
home ; for every one of them know their feveral duties, with regard both 
to time and place. The centinels report the affair, and foon afterward the 
waiters by order go, and reaching their hands over the holy ground, they 
bring in the provifions, and fet them down before the famimed multitude. 
Though moft of the people may have feen them, they reckon it vicious and 
mean to Jhew a gladnefs for the end of their religious duties , and fhameful 


Their religious fejliii ah, fajls t &c* 10$ 

to haften the holy attendants, as they are all capable of their facred offices. 
They are as Uriel: obfervers of all their fet forms, as the Ifraelltes were of 
thofe they had from divine appointment. 

Before noon, the temple is fo cleared of every thing the women brought 
to the fquare, that the fcftival after that period, refembles a magical enter 
tainment that had no reality in it, confifting only in a delufion of the fenfes. 
The women then carry the veffels from the temple to the water, and wafli 
them clean for fear of pollution. As foon as the fun is vifibly declining 
from his meridian, this third day of the faft, the Archi-magus orders a 
religious attendant to cry aloud to the crowded town, that the holy fire is 
to be brought out for the facred altar commanding every one of them 
to ftay within their own houfes, as becomes the beloved people, without 
doing the lealb bad thing and to be fure to extlnguifh, and throw away 
every fpark of the old fire , otherwife, the divine fire will bite them feverely 
with bad difeafes, ficknefs, and a great many other evils, which he fenten- 
tioufly enumerates, and finilhes his monitory caution, by laying life and 
deajh before them. 

Now every thing is huflied. Nothing but filence all around : the Archi- 
magus, and his beloved waiter, rifing up with a reverend carriage, fteady 
countenance, and compofed behaviour, go into the beloved place, or holieft, 
to bring them out the beloved fire. The former takes a piece of 
<iry poplar, willow, or white oak, and having cut a hole, fo as not to 
reach through it, he then fharpens another piece, and placing that with 
the hole between his knees, he drills it brifldy for feveral minutes, till 
it begins to fmoke or, by rubbing two pieces together, for about 
a quarter of an hour, by friction he collects the hidden fire ; which 
all of them reckon to immediately iflue from the holy Spirit of fire. The 
Mufkohge call the fire their grandfather and the fupreme Father of man 
kind, Efakata-Emffle, " the breath mafter," as it is commonly explained. 
When the fire appears, the beloved waiter cheriflies it with fine chips, 
or maved fplinters of pitch-pine, which had been depofited in the 
holieft : then he takes the unfullied wing of a fwan, fans it gently, and 
cherimes it to a flame. On this, the Arcbi-^magus brings it out in an old 
earthen veffel, whereon he had placed it, and lays it on the facred altar, 
which is under an arbour, thick-weaved a-top with green boughs. It is 
obfervable, that when the Levites laid wood on the facred fire, it was un- 

P lawful 

1 06 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

lawful for them either to blow it with bellows, or their breath. The 
Magians, or followers of Zoroafter, poured oil on their fuppofed holy fire, 
and left it to the open air to kindle it into flame. Is not this religious cere 
mony of thefe defolate Indians a ftrong imitation, or near refemblance of the. 
Jewifh cuftoms ? 

Their hearts are enlivened with joy at the appearance of the reputed holy 
fire, as the divine fire is fuppofed to atone for all their paft crimes, except 
murder : and the beloved waiter mews his pleafure, by his cheerful induftry 
in feeding it with dry frefh wood ; for they put no rotten wood on it, any 
more than the Levites would on their facred altars. Although the peo 
ple without, may well know what is tranfafling within, yet, by order, a 
crier informs them of the good tidings, and orders an old beloved woman 
to pull a bafket-full of the new-ripened fruits, and bring them to the be 
loved fquare. As me before had been appointed, and religioufly prepared 
for that folemn occafion, me readily obeys, and foon lays it down with a 
cheerful heart, at the out-corner of the beloved fquare. By ancient cuftom, 
me may either return home, or Hand there, till the expiation of fin hatli 
been made, which is thus performed The Archi-magus r or fire-maker, 
rifes from his white feat and walks northward three times round the holy 
fire, with a flow pace, and in a very fedate and grave manner, flopping now 
and then, and fpeaking certain old ceremonial words with a low voice and a 
rapidity of exprefllon, which none underftand but a few of the old be 
loved men, who equally fecrete their religious myfteries, that they may 
not be prophaned. He then takes a little of each fort of the new har- 
veft, which the old woman had brought to the extremity of the fup 
pofed holy ground, rubs fome bear's oil over it, and offers it up toge 
ther with fome flefli, to the bountiful holy Spirit of fire, as a firft-fruit 
offering, and an annual oblation for fin. He likewife confecrates the but- 
ton-fnake-root, and the cufleena, by pouring a little of thofe two ftrong 
decoctions into the pretended holy fire. He then purifies the red and white 
feats with thofe bitter liquids, and fits down. Now, every one of the out 
laws who had been catched a tripping, may fafely creep out of their lurking 
holes, anoint themfelves, and drefs in their fineft, to pay their grateful 
thanks at an awful diftance, to the forgiving divine fire. A religious 
waiter is foon ordered to call to the women around, to come for the facred 
fire : they gladly obey. When they come to the outfide of the quad 
rangular holy ground, the Arcbi-magus addrefles the warriors, and gives 


*fbelr religious f eft hah t fafts, &c. 1 07 

them all the particular pofitive injunctions, and negative precepts they yet 
retain of the ancient law, relating to their own manly ftation. Then he 
changes his note, and ufes a much marper language to the women, as fuf- 
fpecting their former virtue. He firil tells them .very earneftly, that if 
there are any of them who have not extinguifhed the old evil fire, or have 
contracted any impurity, they muft forthwith depart, left the divine fire 
fliould fpoil both them and the people , he charges them to be fure not to 
give the children a bad example of eating any unfanctified, or impure food, 
btherwife they will get full of worms, and be devoured by famine and dif- 
eafes, and bring many other dangerous evils both upon themfelves, and all 
the beloved, or holy people. This feems to allude to the theocratic go 
vernment of the Jews, when fuch daring criminals were afflicted with imme 
diate and vifible divine punimment. 

In his female lecture, he is fharp and prolix : he urges them with much 
earneftnefs to an honeft obfervance of the marriage-law, which may be 
readily excufed, on account of the prevalent pafllon of felf-interefl. Our 
own chriftian orators do not exert themfelves with half the eloquence or 
eagernefs, as when that is at flake which they mod value. And the old 
wary favage has ferife enough to know, that the Indian female virtue is 
very brittle, not being guarded fo much by inward principle, as the fear of 
fhame, and of incurring fevere punimment -, but if every bum of every 
thicket was an hundred-eyed Argos, it would not be a fufficient guard over 
a wanton heart.*- So that it is natural they mould fpeak much on this pare 
of the fubject, as they think they have much at ftake. After that, he ad- 
drefles himfelf to the whole body of the people, and tells them, in ra 
pid bold language, with great energy, and exprefllve geflures of body, 
to look at the holy fire, which again has introduced all thofe (hameful 
adulterous criminals into focial privileges ; he bids them not to be guilty 
of the like for time to come, but be fure to remember well, and ftrongly 
fhake hands with the old beloved ftraight fpeech, otherwife the divine fire, 
which fees, hears, and knows them, will fpoil them exceedingly, if at 
any time they relapfe, and commit that deteftable crime. Then he enu 
merates all the fuppofed lefTer crimes, and moves the audience by the great 
motives of the hope of temporal good, and the fear of .temporal evil, alluring 
them, that upon their careful obfervance of the ancient law, the holy fire 
will enable their prophets, the rain-makers, to procure them plentiful har- 
vefts, and give their war-leaders victory over their enemies and by the 

P 2 commu- 

io8 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

communicative power of their holy things, health and profperity are certain* 
hut on failure, they are to expect a great many extraordinary calamities,, 
fuch as hunger, uncommon difeafes, a fubjedtion to witchcraft, and cap 
tivity and death by the hands of the hateful enemy in the woods, where the 
wild fowls will eat their flefh, and beafts of prey deftroy the remaining 
bones, fo as they will not be gathered to their forefathers becaufe their ark 
abroad, and beloved things at home, would lole their virtual power of 
averting evil. He concludes, by advifing them to a flricb obfervance of 
their old rites and cuftoms, and then every thing fhall go well with them. 
He foon orders fome of the religious attendants to take a fufficient quantity 
of the fuppofed holy fire, and lay it down on the outfide of the holy ground, 
for all the houfes of the various aflbciated towns, which fometimes lie feve- 
ral miles apart. The women, hating (harp and grave leflbns, fpeedily take 
it up, gladly carry it home, and lay it down on their unpolluted hearths, 
with the profped of future joy and peace.. 

While the women are running about, and getting ready to drefs the 
fandified new-fruits on, the facred fire, the Archi-magus fends a religious 
attendant to pull fome cufTeena,.or yopon, belonging to the temple j 
and having parched it brown on the altar, he boils it with clear running 
water in a large earthen pot, about half full '.; it has fuch a. ftrong 
body, as to froth above the top by pouring it up and down with, 
their confecrated veffels, which are kept only for that ufe : of this they 
drink now and then, till the end of the feftival, and on every other reli 
gious occafion from year to year. Some of the old beloved men, through a 
religious emulation in fanctifyJng themfelves, often drink this,, and other bit 
ter decoctions, to fuch excefs,. as to purge themfelves very feverely when 
they drink it, they always invoke YO, HE WAH. 

If any of the warriors are confined at home by ficknefs, or wounds, 
and are either deemed incapable oc unfit to come to the annual expiation, 
they are allowed one of the old confecrated conch-fhells-full of their 
fanftifying bitter cuffeena, by their magi. The. traders hear them often 
difpute for it, as their proper due, by ancient cuftom : and they often repeat 
their old religious ceremonies to one. another, efpecially that part which 
they imagine moft affefts their prefent welfare- i the aged are fent to in- 
ftruft the young ones in thefe particulars. The above allowance, fcems 
to. be. derived from the divine precept of mercy, in allowing a fecond palT- 


Their religious feftivals, fafts, &c. 109 

over in- favour of thofe who could not go, or were not admitted to the 
firft -, and the latter cuftom, to be in obedience to the divine law, which 
their fuppofed progenitors were to write on the ports of the doors, to wear 
as frontlets before their eyes, and teach to their children. 

Though the Indians do not ufe fait in their firft-fruit-oblation till the 
fourth day, it is not to be doubted but they formerly did. They reckon 
they cannot obferve the annual expiation of fins, without bear's oil, both to 
mix with that yearly offering, and to eat with the new fanctified fruits ; 
and fome years they have a great deal of trouble in killing a fufficient quan 
tity of bears for the ufe of this religious folemnity, and their other facred 
rites for the approaching year; for at fuch feafons they are hard to be found, 
and quite lean. The traders commonly fupply. themfelves with plenty of 
this oil from winter to winter; but the Indians are fo prepoflefied with a 
notion of the white people being all impure and accurfed, that they, deem 
their oil as polluting on thofe facred occafions, as Jofephus tells us the 
Jews reckoned that of the Greeks. An Indian warrior will not light 
his pipe at. a white man's fire if he fufpefts any unfanctified food has been< 
drefled at it in the new year. And in the time of the new-ripened fruits,- 
their religious men carry a flint, punk, and fteel, when they vifit us, for 
fear of polluting themfelves by lighting their pipes at our fuppofed Loak- 
cokproofe, " accurfed fire, 5 ' and fpoiling the power of their holy things. The 
polluted would, if known, be, infallibly anathamatized, , and expelled from 
the temple, with the women, who are fufpefted of gratifying their vici 
ous tafte. During the eight days feftival, they are forbidden even to touch 
the fkin of a female child : if they are detected, either in cohabiting with, 
or laying their hand an any of their own wives, jn that facred interval,, 
they are dripped naked,, and the offender is univerfally deemed fo atrocious 
a criminal, that hejives afterwards a Some have fhot them 
felves dead, rather than ftand the (hame, and the long year's continual re 
proaches cafl upon. them, for every mifchance that befalls any of their 
people, or the enfuing harveft, a neceffary effect of the divine anger, they, 
fay, for fuch a crying fin of pollution. An inftance of this kind I heard; 
happened fome years ago la Talqfe,. a town of the Mulkohge, feven miles- 
above the Alebama garrifon.. 

When we con fide r how fparingly they eat in their ufual way of liv 
ing, . it is furprizing to fee what a vaft quantity of food they confume 
5 on . 

no On the defcent of the American Indians from the y, 

on their feftival days. It would equally furprize a flranger to fee how 
exceedingly they vary their, their dainties confiding only of dried 
flefh, fifh, oil, corn, beans, peafe, pompions, and wild fruit. During this 
rejoicing time, the warriors are dreft in their wild martial array, with their 
heads covered with white down : they carry feathers of the fame colour, 
either in their hands, or fattened to white fcraped canes, as emblems 
of purity, and fcepters of power, while they are dancing in three cir- 

-cles, and finging their religious praifes around the facred arbour, in 
which (lands the holy fire. Their mufic confifts of two clay-pot drums, 
covered on the top with thin wet deer-lkins, drawn very tight, on which 
each of the noify muficians beats with a ftick, accompanying the noife with 
their voices -, at the fame time, the dancers prance it away, with wild 

.and quick fliding fteps, and variegated poftnres of body, to keep .time 
with the drums, and the rattling calabames fhaked by fome of their 
religious heroes, each of them finging their old religious fongs, and 
flriking notes in tympano et choro. Such is the graceful dancing, as well 
as the vocal and inftrumental mufic of the red Hebrews on religious 
and martial occafions, which they muft have derived from early antiquity. 
Toward the conclufion of the great feftival, they paint and drefs themfelves 
anew, and give themfelves the moll terrible appearance they poffibly can. 
They take up their war-inftrumenrs, and fight a mock-battle in a very exact 
manner : after which, the women are called to join in a grand dance, and 
if they difobey the invitation they are fined. But as they are extremely fond 
of fuch religious exercife, and deem it productive of temporal good, 
all foon appear in their fineft apparel, as before fuggefted, decorated 
with filver ear-bobs, or pendants to their ears, feveral rounds of white 
beads about their necks, rings upon their fingers, large wire or broad 
plates of filver on their wrifts, their heads mining with oil, and torrepine-fhells 
containing pebbles, fattened to deer-fkins, tied to the outfide of their legs, 
Thus adorned, they join the men in three circles, and dance a confider- 
able while around the facred fire, and then they feparate. 

At the conclufion of this long and folemn feftival, the ArcU-rnagus orders 
one of the religious men to proclaim to all the people, that their facred 
annual folemnity is now ended, and every kind of evil averted from the 
.beloved people, according to the old ftraight beloved fpeech i they muft 
therefore paint themfelves, and come along with him according to ancient 
5 cuftom. 

T^heir religious feftfo ah t fafts, &c. ill 

cuftom. As they know the ftated time, the joyful found prefently reaches 
their longing ears : immediately they fly about to grapple up a kind 
of chalky clay, to paint themfelves white. By their religious emulation, 
they foon appear covered with that emblem of purity, and join at the out- 
fide of the holy ground, with all who had fanctified themfelves within it, 
who are likewife painted, fome with ftreaks, and others all over, as white 
as the clay can make them: recufants would undergo a heavy penalty. 
They go along in a very orderly folemn proceilion, to purify themfelves in 
running water. The Archi-magus heads the holy train his waiter next 
the beloved men according to their feniority and the warriors by their 
reputed merit. The women follow them in the fame orderly manner, with 
all the children that- can walk, behind them, ranged commonly according 
to their height ; the very little ones they carry in their arms. Thofe, 
who are -known to have eaten of the unfanctiried fruits, bring up the 
rear. In this manner the proceffion moves along, finging ALELUIAH to 
YO HE WAH, &c. till they get to the water, which is generally contiguous, 
when the Archi-magus jumps into it, and all the holy train follow him, in 
the fame order they obferved from the temple. Having purified themfelves, 
or warned away their fins, they come out with joyful hearts, believing them 
felves out of the reach of temporal evil, for their pad vicious conduct : and 
they return in the fame religious cheerful manner, into the middle of the 
holy ground, where having made a few circles, fin-ging and dancing around 
the altar, they thus finifh their annual great feftival, and depart in joy and 
peace. . 

Ancient writers inform us, that while the Scythians or Tartars were hea 
thens, their priejls in the time of their facrifices, took fome blood, and 
mixing it with milk, horfe-dung, and earth, got on a tree, and having ex 
horted the people, they fprinkled them with it, in order to purify them, and 
defend them from every kind of evil : the heathens alfo excluded fome 
from religious communion. The Egyptians excommunicated thofe who ate 
of animals that bore wool, or cut the throat of a goat*. And in ancient 
times, they, and the Phoenicians, Greeks, &c. adored the ferpent, and ex 
pelled thofe who killed it. The Eaft-Indians likewife, drive thole from the 

* Lanatis animalibus abftinet omnis 

Menfa j nefas ijlic fastum jugulare capejlae. 

JUVENAL, Sat. xv. 


ii2 On the dffccnt of the American Indians from the Jews. 

fuppofed benefit of their altars, who eat of a cow, and drink wine, or 
that eat with foreigners, or an inferior caft. Though the heathen world 
offered facrifice, had ablutions, and feveral other forts of purifications, 
and frequently by fire , yet at the beft, their religious obfervances differed 
widely from the divine inftitutions ; whereas the American Aborigines 
obferve ftrict purity, in the moft efiential parts of the divine law. The 
former concealed their various worfhip from the light of the fun ; fome 
feeking thick groves, others defcending into the deep valleys, others crawl 
ing to get into caverns, and under their favourite rocks. But we find the 
latter, in their ftate-houfes and temples, following the Jerufalem copy in a 
furprizing manner. Thofe of them who yet retain a fuppofed moft holy 
pkce, contrary to the ufage of the old heathen world, have it {landing at the 
weft end of the holy quadrangular ground : and they always appoint thofe of 
the meaneft rank, to fit on the feats of the eaftern fquare, fo that their 
backs are to the eaft, and faces to the weft *. The red fquare looks north ; 
and the fecond men's cabbin, as the traders term the other fquare, of courfc 
looks fouch, which is a ftrong imitation of Solomon's temple, that was mo 
delled according to the divine plan of the Ifraelitim camp in the wildernefs. 
We find them alfo fanctifying themfelves, according to the emblematical 
laws of purity, offering their annual facrifice in the centre of their quadran 
gular temples, under the meridian light of the fun. Their magi are de 
voted to, and bear the name of the great holy One ; their fuppofed pro 
phets likcwife that of the divine fire ; and each of them bear the emblems 
<of purity and holinefs while in their religious duties, they fing ALELUIAH^ 
YO HE WAH, &c. both day and night. Thus different are the various gods,. 

* The Hebrews had two presents in the great fynhedrion. The firft was called No/he To* 
" a prince of God." They elected him on account of his wifdom : The fecond was called 
Rojb Ha-Toflibbah, " the father of the aflembly :" he was chief in the great council. And 
db betb Jin, or " the father of the confiftory," fat at his right hand, as the chief of the 
feventy-two, of which the great fynhedrion confided, the reft fitting according to their merit, 
in a gradual declenfion from the prince, to the end of the femicircle. The like order is ob- the Indians, and Jer. ii. 27, God commanded the Ifraelites, that they Ihould not 
turn their backs to him, but their faces toward the propitiatory, when they worlhipped him. 
I remember, in Koofah, the uppermoft weftern town of the Mufkohge, which was a place 
of refuge, their fuppofed holieft confuted of a neat heufe, .in the centre of the weftern 
fquare, and the door of it was in the fouih gable-end clofe to the white cabbin, each on a 
direct line, north and foiuh, 


Their foterffiti feaft of love, 113 

temples, prophets, and priefts of all the idolatrous nations of antiquity, 
from the favage Americans ; which mews wit| convincing clearnefs, efpe- 
cially by recollecting the former arguments, that the American Aborigines 
were never idolaters, nor violated tne fecond corrirrfandment in worfhipping 
the incomprehenfible, omniprefent, divine efience, after the manner defcribed 
by the popifli hiftorians of Peru and Mexico; b^t that the greateft part 
of their civil and religious fyftem, is a ftrong old picture of the Ifraelitifh, 
much lefs defaced than might be reajcmf^ r expefted from the circum- 
ftances of time and place, , -' "^*5* 

Every fpring feafon, one town or more of the Miflifippi Floridians, keep 
a great folemn feaft of love, to renew their old friendmip. Tftey-caj^tHis ' 
annual feaft, Hottuk Aimpa^ Heettla, 'Tanda^ " the people 0e* dance, and 
walk as twined together" The fhort name of their yearty feaft of love, 
is Hottuk Impanaa^ " eating by a ftrong religious, or Social principle ;" 
Impanda fignifies feveral threads or ftrands twifted, or warped together. 
Hiffoobiftardkjhe^ and Telpboha Panaa, is " a twifted horfe-rope," and " warped 
garter*." This is alfo contrary to the ufage of the old heathen world, 
whofe feftivals were in honour to their chief idols, and very often accom 
panied with deteftable lewdnefs and debauchery. 

They aflemble three nights previous to their annual feaft of love; on the 
fourth night they eat together. During the intermediate fpace, the young 
men and women dance in circles from the evening till morning. The men 
mafque their faces with large pieces of gourds of different fhapes and 
hieroglyphic paintings. Some of them fix a pair of young buffalo horns to 
their head ; others the tail, behind. When the dance and their time is ex 
pired, the men turn out a hunting, and bring in a fufficient quantity of 
venifon, for the feaft of renewing theirjove, and confirming their friendfhip 
with each other. The women drefs i't* and bring the beft they have along 
with it ; wjygjyjfw fprings paft, was only a variety of Efau's fmall red 
acorn pottage, astneir crops had failed. When they have eaten together, 
they fix in the ground a large pole with a bulb tied at the top, over which 

* The name of a horfe-rope is derived from T-arakfke " to tie," and tTi/Joola " an elk, 
or horfe that carries a burthen ;" which fuggeffo that they formerly faw elks carry burthens, 
though perhaps not in the northern provinces. 

Q^ they 

H4 n t ^ :e defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

they throw a ball. Till -the corn is in, they meet there almoft every day, 
and play for venifon and cakes, the men againft the women ; which the 
old people lay they have oblcrved for time out of mind. 

Before I conclude this argument, I mud here obferve, that when the In 
dians meet at night to gladden and unite their hearts before YOHEWAH, they 
fing Yohewa-fooo Tobewa-Jhoo, 2'ohewahjhee Tobewafice, and Tobewtib/bai To- 
bewab/bai, with much energy. The firft word is nearly in Hebrew cha 
racters, JOTT, the name of Jofhua, or faviour, Numb. xiii. 8. That y is 
properly exprefied by our double vowel oo, let it be obferved, that as byi is 
" a ruler," or "commanding" fo the Indians fay Boole Hakfe " ftrike a 
" perfon, that is criminal." In like manner, they fmg Me/hi To, Mcfii To, 
Mcjhi He, Mejbi He, Mefai Wah Mejhi Wab ; likewife, Me/hi Hab To, &c. ; and 
Mejhi H^.h Hah Mejki If -'"ah He, tranfpofing and accenting each fy liable dif 
ferently, fo as to make them appear different words. But they commonly 
make thofe words end with one fyllable of the divine name, To He Wah. If 
we connect this with the former part of the fubjecl:, and confider they are 
commonly anointed all over, in the. time of their religious fongs and cirr 
cuiting dances, the words iecm to glance at the Hebrew original, and per 
haps they arc fometimes fynonymous ; for 1D^ fignifies oil ; the perfoa 
anointed JT03, Meffiab, and he who anointed in^'a, which with the Indians 
is Mejhihah To. 

That thefe red favages formerly underitood the radical meaning, and 'em 
blematical defign, of the important words they ufe in their religious dances 
and facred hymns, is pretty obvious, if we confider the reverence they pay 
to the myfterious divine name YO HE WAH, in paufing during a long 
breath on each of the two firft fyllables ; their defining good by joining Wah 
to the end of a word, which otherwife exprefles moral evil, as before noticed ; 
and again by making the fame word a negative of good, by leparating the 
firft fyllable of that divine name into two fyllables, and adding U as a fuper- 
lative termination, T-O-U : all their facred fongs feem likewife to illuftrate 
it very clearly -, Halelu-Tab, Shilu Wab, Mejhi Wab, Mejhiha To, &c. The 
words which they repeat in their divine hymns, while dancing in three circles 
around their fuppofcd holy fire, are deemed fo facred, that they have not been 
known ever to mention them at any other time : and as they are a molt erecT: 


Their daily facrijice. 

people, their bowing pofture during the time of thofe religious acclamations 
and invocations, helps to confirm their Hebrew origin. 


The Hebrews offered DAILY SACRIFICE, which the prophet Daniel calls 
Vamid, " the daily." It was an offering of a lamb every morning and 
evening, at the charges of the common treafury of the temple, and except the 
fldn and intrails, it was burnt to afhes upon which account they called it, 
Oolab Kalile, to afcend and confume. The Indians have a fimilar religious 
fervice. The Indian women always throw a fmall piece of the fatted of 
the meat into the fire when they are eating, and frequently before they be 
gin to eat. Sometimes they view it with a pleafing attention, and pretend 
to draw omens from it. They firmly believe fuch a method to be a great 
means of producing temporal good things, and of averting thofe that are 
evil : and they are fo far from making this fat-offering through pride or hy- 
pocrify, that they perform it when they think they are not leen by thofe of 
contrary principles, who might ridicule them without teaching them better. 

Inftead of blaming their religious conduct, as fome have done, I advifed 
them to perfift in their religious duty to IJhtohoollo Aba, becaufe he never 
failed to be kind to thofe who firmly fhaked hands with the old beloved 
fpeech, particularly the moral precepts, and after they died, he would bring 
them to their beloved land ; and took occafion to fhew them the innumer 
able advantages their reputed forefathers were bled with, while they obeyed 
the divine law. 

The white people, (I had almod faid chridians) who have become Indian 
profelytes of judice, by living according to the Indian religious fydem, 
allure us, that the Indian men obferve the daily facrifice both at home, and 
in the woods, with new-killed venifon ; but that otherwife they decline 
it. The difficulty of getting fait for religious ufes from the fea-fhore, and 
likewife its irritating quality when eaten by thofe who have green wounds, 
might in time occafion them to difcontinue that part of the facrifice. 

Q2 They 

1 1 6 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

They make fait for dome/lie ufe, out of a faltifh kind of grafs, which, 
grows on rocks, by burning it to aflies, making ftrong lye of it, and 
boiling it in earthen pots to a proper confidence. They do not offer 
any fruits of the field, except at the firft-fruit-offering : fo that their 
neslect of facrifice, at certain times, feems not to be the effect of an igno 
rant or vicious, but of their intelligent and virtuous difpofidon, and to be 
a ftrong circumftantial evidence of their Ifraelitilh extraction. 

Though they believe the upper heavens to be inhabited by IJhtoboolla 
Abet) and a great multitude of inferior good fpirits ; yet they are firmly per- 
fuaded that the divine omnipr.efent Spirit of fire and light refides on earth r 
in their annual facred fire while it is unpolluted -, and that he kindly ac 
cepts their lawful offerings, if their own conduct is agreeable to the old 
divine law, which was delivered to their forefathers. The former notion 
of the Deity, is agreeable to thofe natural images, with which the divine 
penmen, through all the prophetic writings, have drawn YOHEWAH ELOHIM. 
When God was pleafed with Aaron's priefthood and offerings,, the holy fire 
defcended and confumed the burnt-offering on the altar, &c. 

By the divine records of the Hebrews, this was the emblematical 
token of the divine prefence ; and the fmoke of the victim afcending toward 
heaven, is reprefented as a fweet favour to God. The people who have 
lived fo long apart from the reft of mankind, are not to be wondered ar, if 
they have forgotten the end and meaning of the facrifice j and are rather to- 
be pitied for feeming to believe, like the ignorant part of the Ifraelites, 
that the virtue is either in the form of offering the facrifice, or in the di 
vinity they imagine to refide on earth in the facred annual fire -, likewise,, 
for feeming to have forgotten that the virtue was in the thing typified. 

In the year 1748, when I was at theKoosah on my way to the Chikkafah 
country, I had a converfation on this fubject, with feveral of the more in 
telligent of the Mufkohge traders. One of them told me, that juft before, 
while he and feveral others were drinking fpirituous liquors with the In 
dians, one of the warriors having drank to excefs, reeled into the fire, and 
burned himfelf very much. He roared, foamed, and fpoke the worft things 
againft God, that their language could exprefs. He upbraided him with 


Their religious offerings. nj 

ingratitude, for having treated him fo barbaroufly in return for his religious- 
offerings, affirming he had always facrificed to him the firft young buck he 
killed in the new year-, as in a conftant manner he offered him when at 
home, fome of the fatteft of the meat, even when he was at ihort allow 
ance, on purpofe that he might mine upon him as a kind God. And he- 
added, " now you have proved as an evil fpirit, by biting me fa feverelyr- 
who was your conftant devotee, and are a kind God to thofe accurfed no 
things, who are laughing at you as a rogue,, and at me as a fool, I allure 
you, I fliall renounce you from this time forward, and inllead of making 
you look merry with fat meat, you fliall appear fad with water, for fpoiling 
the old beloved fpeech. I am a beloved warrior, and confequently I fcorn- 
to lie , you fhall therefore immediately fly up above the clouds, for I fhall 
pifs upon you." From that time, his brethren faid, God forfook that ter- 
reftrial refidence, and the warrior became godlefs.. This information exactly 
agrees with many fuch inftances of Indian impiety, that happened within 
my own obfervation and mews the bad confequences of that evil habit of 
ufmg fpirituous liquors intemperately,. which they have been taught by the 

The Indians have among them the refemblance of the Jew-ifh SIM-OFFER 
ING, and. TRESPASS-OFFERING, for they commonly pull their new-killed 
venifon ^before they drefs it) feveral times through the fmoke and Maine of 
the fire, both by the way of a facrifice, and to confume the blood, life, or 
animal fpirits of the beaft, which with them would be a moft horrid abomi* 
nation to eat. And they facrifice in the woods, the milr, or a large fat 
piece of the firft buck they kill, both in their furnmer and winter hunt ; 
and frequently the whole carcafs. This they offer up, either as a thankf- 
giving for the recovery of health, and for their former fuccefs in hunting - 9 
or that the divine care and goodnefs may be dill continued to them. 

When the Hebrews doubted whether they had finned againft any of the 
divine precepts, they were obliged by the law to bring to the prieft a ram of 
their flock, to be facrificed, which they called Afcham. When the prieft 
offered this, the perfon was forgiven. Their facrifices and offerings were cal 
led Shilomim y as they typified Sbilo-Berith, " the purifying root," who was 
to procure them peace, reft, and plenty. The Indian imitates the Ifraelite 
7 i * 

1 18 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews* 

;in his religious offerings, according to the circumftances of things ; the 
Hebrew laid his hands 'on the head of the clean and tame victim, 
to load it with his fins, when it was to be killed. The Indian religi- 
oufly chufes that animal which in America comes nearefl to the divine 
law of facrifice, according to what God has enabled him -, he moots down 
.a buck, and facrifices either the whole carcafs, or fome choice part of it, 
upon a fire of green wood to burn away, and afcend to Toheivah. Then 
he purifies himfelf in water, and believes himfelf fecure from temporal evils. 
.Formerly, every hunter obferved the very fame religious ceconomy j but 
jiow it is practifed only by thofe who are the moft retentive of their old 
religious myfteries. 

The Mufkohge Indians facrifice a piece of every deer they kill at their 
hunting camps, or near home ; if the latter, they dip their middle finger in 
the broth, and fprinkle it over the domeftic tombs of their dead, to keep 
them out of the power of evil fpirits, according to their mythology ; which 
feems to proceed from a traditional knowledge, though corruption of the 
Hebrew law of fprinkling and of blood. 

The Indians obferve another religious cuftom of the Hebrews, in mak 
ing a PEACE-OFFERING, or facrifice of gratitude, if the Deity in the fuppofed 
holy ark is propitious to their campaign againft the enemy, and brings 
them all fafe home. If they have loft any in war, they always decline it, 
becaufe they imagine by fome neglect of duty, they are impure : then they 
only mourn their vicious conduct which defiled the ark, and thereby oc- 
cafioned the lofs. Like the Ifraelites, they believe their fins are the true 
caufe of all their evils, and that the divinity in their ark, will always blefs 
the more religious party with the beft fuccefs. This is their invariable fen- 
timent, and is the fole reafon of their mortifying themfelves in ib fevere a 
manner while they are out at war, living very fcantily, even in a buffalo- 
range, under a ftrict rule, left by luxury their hearts mould grow evil, and 
give them occafion to mourn. \ 

The common fort of Indians, in thefe corrupt times, only facrifice a 

fmall piece of unfalted fat meat, when they are rejoicing in the divine pre- 

fence, finging To To, &c. for their fuccefs and fafety : but, according to 

the religious cuftom of the Hebrews 3 who offered facrifices of thankfgiving 

i for 

religious offerings. 119 

for every notable favour that Elohim had conferred either on individuals,, 
or the body, both the war-leader and his religious affiftant go into the woods 
as foon as they are purified, and there facrifice the firft deer they kill; 
yet, as hath been obferved, they always celebrate the annual expiation of fins 
in their religious temples. 

The red Hebrews imagine their temples to have fuch a typical holinefs, 
more than any other place, that if they offered up the annual facrifice elfe- 
\vhere, it would not atone for the people, but rather bring down the anger' 
of IJhtoboollo Aba^ and utterly fpoil the power of their holy places and holy- 
things. They who facrifice in the woods, do it only on the particular occa- 
fions now mentioned ; unlefs incited by a dream, which they efteem a mo 
nitory leffon of the Deity, according to a fimilar opinion of the Hebrews. 
To conclude this argument, it is well known, that the heathens offered the* 
mod abominable and impure facrifices to a multiplicity of idol gods , fome 
on favourite high places, others in thick proves, yea, offerings of their own 
children were made ! and they likewife proftituted their young women in 
honour of their deities. The former is fo atrocious in the eyes of the Ame 
rican Hebrews, that they reckon there needs no human law to prevent fa' 
unnatural a crime; the vileft reptiles being endued with an intenfe love to 
their young ones : and as to the latter, if even a great war-leader is known* 
to cohabit with his own wife, while fanctifying himfelf according to their 
mode on any religious occafion, he is deemed unclean for the fpace of 
three days and nights , or mould he during the annual atonement of 
fins, it is deemed fo dangerous a pollution, as to demand a ftricl: ex- 
clufion from the reft of the fandlified head-men and warriors, till the ge 
neral atonement has been made at the temple, to appeafe the offended 
Deity : befides, as a (hameful badge of his impiety, his clothes are (tripped: 
off. Thus different are the various modes and fubjefts of the heatheniflr 
worfhip and offerings, from thofe of the favage Americans. The furprizing 
purity the latter ftill obferve in their religions ceremonies, under the circum- 
ftanees of time and place, points ftrongly at their origins, 



120 On the defcent of the American Indians fro^n the Jews. 



- The Hebrews had various ABLUTIONS and ANOINTINGS, according to the 
Mofaic ritual and all the Indian nations conftantly obferve fimilar cuftoms 
from religious motives. Their frequent bathing, or dipping themfelves and 
their children in rivers, even in the fevereft weather, feems to be as truly 
Jewifh, as the other rites and ceremonies which have been mentioned. Fre 
quent walhing of the body was highly necefiary to the health of the Hebrews 
in their warm climate, and populous ftate but it is ufelefs in this point of 
view to the red Americans, as their towns are widely diftant from each other, 
thin peopled, and fituated in cold regions. However, they practife it as a 
religious duty, unlefs in very hot weather, which they find by experience to 
be prejudicial to their health, when they obferve the law of mercy, rather 
than that of facrifke. In the coldeft weather, and when the ground is co 
vered with fnow, againft their bodily eafe and pleafure, men and children 
turn .out of their warm houfes or ftoves, reeking with fweat, finging their 
ufual facred notes, To To, &c. at the dawn of day, adoring YO HE WAR, 
at the gladfome fight of the morn ; and thus they Ikip along, echoing 
praifes, till they get to the river, when they inftantaneoufly plunge into it. 
If the water is frozen, they break the ice with a religious impatience: 
After bathing, they return home, rejoicing as they run for having ib well 
performed their religious duty, and thus purged away the impurities of the 
preceding day by ablution. The neglect of this hath been deemed Ib heinous 
a crime, that they have raked the legs and arms of the delinquent with 
fnake's teeth, not allowing warm water to relax the ftiffened ikin. This is 
called dry-fcratching; for their method of bleeding confifts in fcratching the 
legs and arms with goir-fim teeth, when the fkin has been firft well 
loofened by warm water. The criminals, through a falfe imitation of 
true martial virtue, fcorn to move themfelves in the leaft out of their 
-erect poltnre, be the pain ever fo intolerable ; if they did, they would be 
laughed at, even by their own relations firft, for being vicious; and 
next, for being timorous. This will help to leflen our furprize at the un 
common patience and conftancy with which they are endued, beyond the 
reft of mankind, in fuffering long-continued torture j efpeciully as it is one 


bathing and anointing* 121 

of the firft, and ftrongeft impreffions they take -, and they have conftant 
leiTons and examples of fortitude, exhibited before their eyes. 

The Hebrews had convenient feparate places for their women to bathe 
in, and purify themfelves as occafion required : and at the temple (and 
the fynagogues, after the captivity) they worshipped apart from the men, 
left they fhould attract one another's attention from the divine worfhip : 
and it was cuftomary for the women to go veiled, for fear of being feen, 
when they walked the ftreets. No doubt but jealoufy had as great a mare 
in introducing this cuftom as modefty, efpecially while poligamy was fuf- 
fered in the rich. But the fcantinefs of the Jewifh American's circum- 
fiances, has obliged them to purify themfelves in the open rivers, where 
modefty forbad them to expofe their women ; who by this means, are now 
lefs religious than the men in that duty, for they only purify themfelves 
as their difcretioa directs them. In imitation of the Hebrew women being 
kept apart from the men at their worfhip, the Indians intirely exclude their 
females from their temples by ancient cuftom, except fix old beloved 
women, who are admitted to fing, dance, and rejoice, in the time of their 
annual expiation of fins, and then retire. In their town-houfes alfo they 
feparate them from the warriors, placing them on the ground at each 
fide of the entrance of the door within, as if they were only cafual fpec- 

It may be objected, that the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans 
worlhipped their Gods, at the dawn of day : and the Perfian Magi, with all 
the other worfliippers of fire, paid their religious devoirs to the rifing 
fun, but, as the Indians are plainly not idolaters, or poly-theifts ; as they 
fing to, and invoke YAH, and YO HE WAH, the divine efience, as they 
run along at the dawn of day to purify themfelves by ablution ; it feems 
fufficiently clear, they are not defcended from either of the laft mentioned 
ftates, but that their origin is from the Ifraelites. This law of purity, bath 
ing in water, was efiential to the Jews and the Indians to this day would 
exclude the men from religious communion who neglected to obferve it. 

It was cuftomary with the Jews alfo after bathing to anoint themfelves 
with oil. All the orientalifts had a kind of lacred refpect to On ; particu 
larly the Jews. With them, the fame word which fignified " noon-day" 
or fplendor, irra, denoted alfo " lucid oil." And the olive-tree is derived 

R from 

122 On the defcent* of the American Indians from the Jews. 

from the verb, to fhine Becaufe, the fruit thereof tended to give their 
faces a favourite glittering colour. 'Tis well known that oil was applied by 
the Jews to the moft facred, as well as common ufes. Their kings, 
prophets and priefts, at their inauguration and confecration were anointed 
with oil and the- prom ifed Saviour was himfelf defcribed, by the epi 
thet " anointed," and is faid Pfal. xlv. 7. to be " anointed with the oil of 
gladnefs above his fellows.'* We (hall on this point, difcover no fmall refem- 
falance and conformity in the American Indians. 

The Indian priefts and prophets are initiated by unction. The Chik- 
kafah fome time ago fet apart fome of their old men of the religious order. 
They firft obliged them to fweat themfelves for the fpace of three days and- 
nights, in a fmall green hut, made on purpofe, at a confiderable diftance 
from any dwelling-, through a fcrupulous fear of contracting pollution; 
by contact, or from the effluvia of polluted people and a-ftfong defire of 
iecreting their religious myfteries. During that interval, they were allowed 
to eat nothing but green tobacco, nor to drink any thing except warm 
water, highly imbittered with the button-fnake-root, to cleanfe their bodies^ 
and prepare them to ferve in their holy, or beloved office, before the divine 
eifence, whom during this preparation they conftantly invoke by his eflen- 
tial name, as before defcribed; After which, their prieftty garments and 
ornaments, mentioned under a former argument, page 84, are put on, and 
then bear's oil is poured upon their head. If they could procure olive, or 
palm oil, inflead of bear's oil, doubtlefs they would prefer and ufe it 
in their facred ceremonies ; efpecialty, as they are often deflitute of their 
favourite bear's oil for domeftk ufes. 

The Jewifli women were fo exceedingly addicted to anoint their faces 
and bodies, that they often preferred oil to the neceflaries of life; the 
widow who addrefled herfelf to Elima, though fhe was in the moft pinch 
ing ftraits, and wanted every thing elfe, yet had a pot of oil to anoint her 
felf. This cuftom of anointing became univerfal, among the eaftcrn na 
tions. They were not fatisfied with perfuming t;hemfelves with fweet oils 
and fine eflences j but anointed birds as in the ninth ode of Anacreon ; 

Tot unde mine odores ? 
Hue advolans per auras, 
Spirafque, depluifque ..; 


*Their anointing. 123 

The poet introduces two doves converting together ; one of which car 
ried a letter to Bathyllus, the anointed beau ; and the other wiflies her much 
joy, for her perfumed wings that diffufed fuch an agreeable fmell around. 
And the fame poet orders the painter to draw this Samian beau, with his 
hair wet with effence, to give him a fine appearance. Nitidas comas ejus 
facilto. Ode 29. Virgil defcrtbes Turnus, juft after the fame manner, 

Vibratos calido ferro, myrrhaque madentes. 

1. 12. 

Homer tells us, that Telemachus and Philiftratus anointed their whole 
bodies with eflences, afcer they had vifited the palace of Menelaus, and be 
fore they fat down at table. Odyfif. 1. 4, 

The Jews reckoned it a fmgular piece of difrefpect to their gueft, if 
they offered him no oil. When any of them paid a friendly vifit, they had 
eflences prefented to anoint their heads , to which cuftom of civility the 
Saviour alludes in his reproof of the parfimonious Pharifee, at whofe houfc 
he dined. Luke vii. 46. 

All the Indian Americans, efpecially the female fex, reckon their bear's 
oil or greafe, very valuable, and ufe it after the fame manner as the Afiatics 
did their fine eflences and fweet perfumes \ the young warriors and women 
are uneafy, unlefs their hair is always mining with it ; which is probably 
the reafon that none of their heads are bald. But enough is faid on this 
head, to mew that they feem to have derived this cuftom from the eaft. 


The Indians have cuftoms confonant to the Mofaic LAWS OF UNCLEAN- 
NESS. They oblige their women in their lunar retreats^ to build fmall huts, 
at as confiderable a diftance from their dwelling-houfes, as they imagine may 
be out of the enemies reach ; where, during the fpace of that period, they 
are obliged to flay at the rifque of their lives. Should they be known to 
violate that ancient law, they imift anfwer for every misfortune that befalls 

R 2 any 

124 n the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

any of the people, as a certain effect of the divine fire i though the lurking 
enemy fometimes kills them in their religious retirement. Notwithstanding 
they reckon it conveys a moft horrid and dangerous pollution to thofe who 
touch, or go near them, or walk any where within. the circle of their retreats ; 
and are in fear of thereby fpoiling the fuppofed purity and power of their 
holy ark, which they always carry to war , yet the enemy believe they can 
fo cleanfe themfelves with the confecrated herbs, roots, &c. which the 
chieftain carries in the beloved war-ark, as to fecure them in this point from 
bodily danger, becaufe it was done againft their enemies. 

The non-obfervanee of this feparation, . a breach of the marriage-law, and 
murder, they efteem the moft capital crimes. When the time of the wo 
men's feparation is ended, they always purify themfelves in deep running 
water, return home, drefs, and anoint themfelves. They atcribe thefe 
monthly. periods, to the female ftrufture, not to the anger of IJhtohoollo Aba. 

Gorrefpondent to the Mofaic law of women's purification "after travel*.. 
the Indian women abfent themfelves from their hufbands and all public 
company, for a confiderable time. The Mujkobge women are feparate for- 
three moons, exclufive of that moon in which they are delivered. By the 
Jewilh law-, women after a male-birth were forbidden to enter the temple ^, 
and even, the very touch of facred things, forty days. And after a female,.,, 
the time of feparation was doubled. 

Should any of the Indian women violate this law- of purity, they would ! 
be cenfured, and fuffer for any fudden ficknefs, or death that might happen . 
among the people, as the necefiary effect of the divine anger for their 
polluting fin, contrary to their old traditional law of female purity. Like 
the greater part of the Ifraelites, it is the fear of .temporal evils, and the 
profpec"l of temporal good, that makes them fo tenacious and obiervant of 
their laws. At the dated period, the Indian womens impurity is finifhed by 
ablution, and they are again admitted to focial and holy privileges. 

By the Levitical law, the people who had running ijjues, or fores, were 
deemed unclean, and ftriftly ordered apart from the reft, for fear of pol 
luting them ; for every thing they touched became unclean. The Indians, 
in as ftricl: a manner, obferve the very fame law ; they follow the ancient 


T&eir laws of uncleannefs and purification. 125 

Ifraelitifh copy fo clofe, as to build a fmall hut at a confiderable diftance 
from the h'oufes of the village, for every one of their warriors wounded in 
war, and confine them there, (as the Jewifli lepers formerly were, without 
the walls of the city) for the fpace of four moons, including that moon in 
which they were wounded, as in the cafe of their women after travel : and 
they keep them ftrictly feparate, left the impurity of the one mould prevent 
the cure of the other: The reputed prophet, or divine phyfician, daily pays 
them a due attendance, always invoking YO HE WAH to blefs the means 
they apply on the fad occafion , which is chiefly mountain allum, and me 
dicinal herbs, always injoyning a very abftemious life, prohibiting them 
women and fait in particular, during the time of the cure, or fanclifying 
the reputed fmners. Like the Ifraelites, they firmly believe that fafety, or 
wounds, &c. immediately proceed from the pleafed, or angry deity, for their ' 
virtuous, or vicious conduct, in obferving, or violating the divine law* 

In this long fpace of purification, each patient is allowed only a fuper- 
annuated woman to attend him, .who is paft the temptations of finning with 
men, left the introduction of a young one mould either feduce him to 
folly; or me having committed it with others or by not obferving her ~ 
appointed time of living apart from the reft, might thereby defile the 
place, and totally prevent the cure. But what is yet more furprifing in 
their phyfical, or rather theological regimen, is, that the phyfician is fo re- 
ligioufly cautious of not admitting polluted perfons to vifit any of his pa 
tients, left the defilement mould retard the cure,. or fpoil the warriors,, 
that before he introduces any man, even any of their priefts, who are married 
according to the law, he obliges him to aflcrt either by a double affirma 
tive, or by two negatives, that he has not known even his own wife, in ; 
the fpace of the laft natural day. This law of purity was peculiar to the 
Hebrews, to deem thofe unclean who cohabited with their wives, till they 
purified themfelves in clean water. Now as the heathen world oblerved no 
fuch law, it feems that the primitive Americans derived this religious 
cuftom alfo from divine precept , and that thefe ceremonial rites were origi* 
nally copied from the Mofaic inftitution. 

The Ifraelites became unclean only by touching their dead, for the 
fpace of feven days; and the. high-prieft was prohibited to come near 
the dead. 'Tis much the fame with the Indians to this day. To pre 
vent pollution, when the fick . perfon is paft hope of recovery, they / 
1 1 dig 

126 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

dig a grave, prepare the tomb, anoint 'his hair, and paint his face ; and 
when his breath ceafes, they haften the remaining funeral preparations, and 
foon bury the corpfe. One of a different family will never, or very rarely 
pollute himfelf for a ftranger ; though when living, he would cheerfully hazard 
his life for his fafety : the relations, who become unclean by performing 
the funeral duties, mull live apart from the clean for feveral days, and be 
deanfed by fome of their religious order, who chiefly apply the button- 
fnake-root for their purification, as formerly defcribed : then they purify 
themfelves by ablution. After three days, the funeral, affiftants may con 
vene at the town-houfe, and follow their ufual diverfions. But the rela 
tions live reclufe a long time, mourning the dead. * 

The Cheerake, notwithftanding they have corrupted mod of their primi 
tive cuftoms, obferve this law of purity in fo flricl: a manner, as not to touch 
the corpfe of their neareft relation though in the woods. The fear of pollu 
tion (not the want of natural affection, as the unfkilful obferve) keeps them 
alfo from burying their dead, in our reputed unfanctified ground, if any die as 
they are going to Charles-town, and returning home ; becaufe they are diftant 
from their own holy places and holy things, where only they could peform 
the religious obfequies of their dead, and purify themfelves according to law. 
An incident of this kind happened feveral years fince, a little below 
Ninety-fix, as well as at the Conggarees, in South-Carolina: at the former 
place, the corpfe by our humanity was interred ; but at the latter, even the 
twin-born brother of an Indian chriftian lady well known by the name of 
the Dark-lanthorn, left her dead and unburied. 

The converfion of this rara avis was in the following extraordinary man 
ner. There was a gentleman who married her according to the manner of 
the Cheerake ; but obferving that marriages were commonly of a fhort 

* One of the Cheerake traders, who now re/ides in the Choktah country, aflures me, that 
a little before the commencement of the late war with the Cheerake, when theuc&, a native 
of Nuquofe-town, died, none of the warriors would help to bury him, becaufe of the dan 
gerous pollution, they imagined they mould necefiarily contract from fuch a white corpfe j as he 
was begotten by a white man and a half-breed Cheerake woman and as the women are 
only allowed to mourn for the death of a warrior, they could not affift in this friendly duty. 
By much folicitacion, the gentleman (my author) obtained the help of an old friendly half- 
bred-warrior. They interred the corpfe ; but the favage became unclean, and was feparate 
.from every kind of communion with the reft, for the fpace of three days. 

I duration, 

'Their ideas of purity, 127 

cTuration in that wanton female government, he flattered himfelf of in- 
grofiing her affections, could he be fo happy as to get her fanctified 
by one of our own beloved men with a large quantity of holy water 
in baptifm and be taught the conjugal duty, by virtue of her new chrif- 
tian name, when they were married a-new. As me was no ftranger in the 
Englifh fettlements, he foon perfuaded her to go down to the Conggarees, 
to get the beloved fpeech, and many fine things befide. As the prieft was 
one of thofe ions of wifdom, the church fent us in her maternal benevolence, 
both to keep and draw us from eflcntial errors, he readily knew the value 
of a convert,, and grafping at the opportunity, he changed her from a wild 
favage to a believing chriftian in a trice. 

He afked her a few articles of her creed, which were foon anfwered- by 
the bridegroom, as interpreter, from fome words me fpoke on a trifling 
queflion he afked her. When the prieft propofed to her a religious queftion, 
the bridegroom, by reafon of their low ideas, and the idiom of their dia 
lects, was obliged to mention fome of the virtues, and fay he- recommended 
to her a very drift chaftity in the married ftate. " Very well, faid fhe, that's 
a good fpeech, and fit for every woman alike, unlefs fhe is very old 
But what fays he now ?" The interpreter, after a fhort paufe, replied, that 
he was urging her to ufe a proper care in domeftic life* " You evil fpirit, 
faid fhe, when was I wafteful, or cardefs at home ?" He replied, " never" : 
" Well then, fax! me, telt him his fpeech is troublefome and light. But, 
firft, where are thofe fine things you prorrvifed me ?" He- bid her be pa 
tient a little, and fhe fhould have plenty of every thing fhe liked beft ; at 
tins fhe fmiled. Now the religious man was fully confirmed in the hope of 
her converfion , however, he afked if fhe underflood, and believed that 
needful article, the doctrine of the trinity. The bridegroom fwore heartily, 
that if he brought out all the other articles of his old book, fhe both knew 
and believed them, for fhe was. a fenfible young woman. 

The bridegroom had a very difficult part to act, both to pleafe the hu 
mour of his Venus, and to fatisfy the inquifitive temper of our religious fon 
of Apollo , he behaved pretty well however, till he was defired to afk her 
belief of the uni-trinity, and tri-unity of the deity \ which the beloved man 
endeavoured to explain. On this, fhe fmartly afked him the fubject of 
their long and crooked-like difcourfe. But, as his patience was now ex- 


128 On the dcfcent of the American Indians from the Jew*. 

haufted, inftead of anfwering her queftion, he faid with a loud voice, that he 
believed the religious man had picked out all the crabbed parts of his old 
book, only to puzzle and ftagger her young chriftian faith; otherwife 
how could he defire him to pcrfuadc fuch a fharp-difcerning young woman, 
that one was three, and three, one ? Befides, that if his book had any fuch 
queftion, it belonged only to the deep parts of arithmetic, in which the 
very Indian beloved men were untaught. He allured the pried, that the 
Indians did not mind what religion the women were of, or whether they 
had any ; and that the bride would take it very kindly, if he fhortened his 
difcourfe, as nothing can difturb the Indian women fo much as long 

The Dark-Ian f born, (which was the name of the bride) became very un- 
.eafy, both by the delay of time, and the various paflions fhe attentively 
-read in the bridegroom's face and fpeech, and fhe afked him fharply the 
meaning of fuch a long difcourfe. He inftantly cried out, that the whole 
affair was fpoikd, unlefs it was brought to a fpeedy conclufion : but the 
religious man infifted upon her belief of that article, before he could pro 
ceed any farther. But by way of comfort, he allured him it mould be 
the very laft queftion he would propofe, till he put the holy water 
on her face, and read over the marriage ceremony. The bridegroom re 
vived at this good news, immediately fent the bowl around, with a cheerful 
countenance ; which the bride obferving, fhe afked him the reafon of his 
fudden joyful looks. But, what with the length of the lecture, the dole 
application of the bowl, and an over-joy of foon obtaining his wifhes, he 
propofed the wrong queftion ; for inftead of afking her belief of the my- 
fterious union of the tri-une deity, he only mentioned the manly faculties 
of nature. The bride fmiled, and afked if the beloved man borrowed that 
fpeech from his beloved marriage-book ? Or whether he was married, as 
he was fo waggifh, and knowing in thofe affairs. The prieft imagining 
her cheerful looks proceeded from her fwallowing his doctrine, immediately 
called for a bowl of water to initiate his rtew convert. As the bridegroom 
could not mediate with his ufual friendly offices in this affair, he perfuaded 
her to let the beloved man put fome beloved water on her face, and it 
would be a fure pledge of a lading friendmip between her and the Englifh, 
and intitle her to every thing fhe liked beft. By the perfuafive force of 
his promifes, fhe confented : and had the conftancy, though fo ignorant a 


*beir ideas of contrasting pollution. 129 

novitiate in our facred myfteries, to go through her catechilm, and the long 
marriage ceremony, although it was often interrupted by the bowl. This 
being over, (he proceeded to go to bed with her partner, while the beloved 
man fung a pfalm at the door, concerning the fruitful vine. Her name he 
foon entered in capital letters, to grace the firft title-page of his church book 
of converts ; which he often mewed to his Englifh fheep, and with much fatis- 
faflion would inform them how, by the co-operation of the Deity, his earned 
endeavours changed an Indian Dark-lanthorn into a lamp of chriftian light. 
However, afterward to his great grief, he was obliged on account of her adul 
teries, to erafe her name from thence, and fnter it anew in fome of the 
crowded pages of female delinquents. 

When an Ifraelite died in any houfe or tent, all who were in it, and the 
furniture belonging to it contracted a pollution, which continued for feven 
days. All likewile who touched the body of a dead perfon, or his grave, 
were impure for feven days. Similar notions prevail among the Indiana. 
The Choktah are fo exceedingly infatuated in favour of the infallible judg 
ment of their pretended prophets, as to allow them without the leaft 
regret, to diflocate the necks of any of their fick who are in a weak ftate 
of body, to put them out of their pain, when they prefume to reveal the 
determined will of the Deity to fhorten his days, which is afTerted to be 
communicated in a dream ; by the time that this theo-phyfical operation 
is performed on a patient, they have <a fcaffold prepared oppofite to the 
door, whereon he is to lie till they remove the bones in the fourth moon 
after, to the remote bone-houfe of that family : they immediately carry 
out the corpfe, mourn over it, and place it in that dormitory, which is 
ftrongly pallifadoed around, left the children fhould become polluted even 
by pafting under the dead. Formerly when the owner of a houie died$ 
they fet fire to it, and to all the provifions of every kind ; or fold 
the whole at a cheap rate to the trading people, without paying the kafb 
regard to the fcarcity of the times. Many of them ftill obferve the fame 
rule, through a wild imitation of a ceremonial obfervance of the Ifraelites, 
in burning; the bed whereon a dead perfon lay, becaufe of its impurity, 
This is no copy from the ancien: heathens, but from the Hebrews. 


On the iefcent of the American Indians from the 



Like the Jews, the greateft part of the fouthern Indians abfla 
moil things that are either in themfelves, or in the general apprehenfion of 
mankind, loathfome, or unclean-, where we find a deviirtion from that ge 
neral rule among any of them, it is a corruption either owing to their- 
intercourfe with Europeans, or having contracted an ill habit from ne- 
ceflity. They generally, affix very vicious ideas to the eating of impure 
things ; and all their prophets,, priefts, old warriors and war-chieftains, before 
they enter on their religious duties, and while they are engaged in them,. 
obferve the ftricleft abftinence in this point. Formerly, if any of them did. 
eat in white people's houfes, or even of what had been drcfled there, while 
they were fandtifying themfelves, it was deemed a dangerous fin of pol 
lution. When fome of them firft corrupted their primitive virtue, by drink 
ing of our fpirituous liquors, the religious fpectators called it ooka hoome,. 
" bitter waters " alluding, I conjecture, to the bitter waters ofjealoufy, 
that produced fwelling and death to thofe who committed adultery, but had 
no power over the innocent. That this name is not accidental, but defign- 
edly pointed, and expreffive of the bitter waters of God,.feems obvious, not 
only from the image they ftill retain of them, but likewife when any of: 
them refufe our invitation of drinking fpirituous liquors in company with 
us, they fay Ahijkola Awa^ Ooka Hoomeh li/jfo, " 1 will not drink, they are 
the bitter waters of the great One." Though Ijhto^ one of the names of 
God, fubjoined to nouns, denotes a fuperlative degree, in this cafe they de 
viate from that general rule and for this reafon they never affix the idea 
of bitter to the fpirituous liquors we drink among them. Hoomeh is the 
only word they have to convey, the meaning of. bitter j as Aneh Hoome'h. > 
" bitter ears," or pepper. 

They reckon all birds of prey, and birds of night, to be unclean, and 
unlawful to be eaten. Not long ago, when the Indians were making their 
winter's hunt, and the old women were without flefh-meat at home, I fhot 
a fmall fat hawk, and defired one of them to take and drefs it ; but though 
tftrongly importuned her by way of trial, me, as earneitly refufed it for 


r alftainingfrom things deemed unck&n. \ + c 

fear of contracting pollution, which me called the " accurfed ficknefs,'* 
fuppofing difeafe woulcj be the necefiary effect of fuch an impurity. Eagles 
of every kind they efteem unclean food ; likewife ravens (though the 
name of a tribe with them) crows, buzzards, fwallows, bats, and every 
fpecies of owls : and they believe that fwallowing flies, mufketoes, or 
gnats, always breeds ficknefs, or worms, according to the quantity that 
goes into them , which though it may not imply extraordinary fkill in 
phyfic, mews their retention of the ancient law, which prohibited the 
fwallowing of flies : for to this that divine farcafm alludes, " fwallowing a 
camel, and {training at a gnat." Such infects were deemed unclean, as 
well as vexatious and hurtful. The God of Ekron was Btelzebub, or 
the God and ruler of flies. 

None of them will eat of any animal whatfoever, if they either know, 
or fufpect that it died of itfelf. I lately afked one of the women the 
reafon of throwing a dung-hiikfowl out of doors, on the corn-houfe j 
fhe faid, that ihe was afraid, Oophe Abeeka Hakfet llkh, " it died with the 
diftemper of the mad dogs," and that if fhe had eaten it, it would have 
affected her in the very fame manner. I faid, if fo, me did well to fave 
herfelf from danger, but at the fame time, it feemed me had forgotten 
the cats. She replied, " that fuch impure animals would not contract 
the accurfed ficknefs, on account of any evil thing they eat - t but thac 
the people who ate of the flefh of the fwine that fed on fuch polluting 
food, would certainly become mad." 

In the year 1766, a madnefs feized the^wild beads in the remote woods 
of Weft-Florida, and about the fame time the domeftic dogs were attacked 
with the like diftemper ; the deer were equally infected. The Indians in 
their winter's hunt, found feveral lying dead, fome in a helplefs condition^ 
and others fierce and mad. But though they are all fond of increafing 
their number of deer-fkins, both from emulation and for profit, yet none of 
them durft venture to flay them, left they Ihould pollute themfelves, and 
thereby incur bodily evils. The head-man of the camp told me, he cautioned 
one of the Hottuk Hakfe^ who had refidcd a long time at Savannah, from 
touching fuch deer, faying to him Cbsbakjinna^ " Do not become vicious 
and mad," for Jffe Hakfet Illebtabab, " the deer were mad, and are dead ;" 
adding, that if he acted the part of Hakfe, he would caufe both him- 

S a - felfi 

132 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews.. 

felf, and the reft of the hunting camp to be fpoiled ; neverthelefs- he- 
fiiut his ears againft his honeil fpeech, and brought thofe dangerous deer-^ 
fkins to camp. But the people would not afterward affociate with him y 
and he foon paid dear for being Hakfe, by a (harp fplintered root of 
a cane running almoft through his foot, near the very place where he 
firft polluted himfelf j and he was afraid fame worfe ill was ftill in wait 
for him. 

In 1767; tHe Indians were ftruck with a di'leafe, which they were unac* 
quainted with before. It began with Iharp pains in the head, at the lower 
part of each of the ears, and fwelled the face and throat in a very extraorr 
dinary manner, and alfo the tefticles. It continued about a fortnight, and 
in the like fpace of time went off gradually, without any dangerous confe- 
quence, or ufe of outward or inward remedies : they called it H^ahka Abeeka y 
" the cattle's diftemper," or ficknefs. Some of their young men had 
by flealth killed and eaten a few of the cattle which the traders had 
brought up, and they imagined they had thus polluted themfelves, and were 
fmitren in that ftrange manner, by having their heads,, necks, &c. magnir 
fied like the fame parts of a fick bull. They firft concluded, either to 
kill all the cattle, or fend them immediately off their land, to prevent the 
like mifchief, or greater ills from befalling the beloved people for their 
cunning old phyficians or prophets would not undertake to cure them, in 
order to inflame the people to execute the former refolution ; being jear 
lous of encroachments, and afraid the cattle would fpoil their open corn 
fields; upon which account, the traders arguments had no weight with 
thefe red Hebrew philofophers. But fortunately, one of their head warriors 
had a few cattle foon prefented to him, to keep off the wolf ; and his rear 
foning proved fo weighty, as to alter their refolution, and produce in them 
a contrary belief. 

They reckon all thofe animals to be unclean, that are either carnU 
vorous, or live on nafty food; as hogs, wolves, panthers, foxes, cats, 
mice, rats. And if we except the bear, they deem all beafts of prey 
unhallowed, and polluted food; a)l amphibious quadrupeds they rank in 
the fame clafs. Our old traders remember when they firft began the cuftonv 
of eating beavers : and to this day none eat of them, except thofe who kill, 

them s. 

alftaming from things deemed unclean. 

rfiem , though the flefh is very wholefome, on account of the bark of trees 
they live upon. It muft be acknowledged, they are all degenerating a- 
pace, infomuch, that the Choktah Indians, on account of their fcantinefs 
of ammunition while they traded with the French, took to eat horfe-flem,, 
and even fnakes of every kind ; though each of thefe fpecies, and every 
fort of reptiles, are accounted by the other neighbouring nations, impure 
food in the higheft degree. And they ridicule the Choktah for their 
cannibal apoftacy, and term them in common fpeech, " the evil, ugly, 

They abhor moles fo exceedingly, that they will not allow their children, 
even to touch them, for fear of hurting their eye-fight , reckoning it con 
tagious. They believe that nature is pofleft of fuch a property, as to tranf-r 
fufe into men and animals the qualities, either of the food they ufe, or of- 
thofe objects that are prefented to their fenfes ; he who feeds on veniforv 
is according to their phyfical fyftem, fvvifter and more fagacious than the man- 
who lives on the flelh of the clumfy bear, or helplefs dunghill fowls, the, 
flow-footed tame cattle, or the heavy wallowing fwine. This is the reafon.. 
that feveral of their old men recommend, and fay, that formerly their 
greatefl chieftains obferved a conftant rule in "their diet, and feldom ate 
of any animal of a grofs quality, or heavy motion of body, fancying 5t> 
conveyed a.dullnefs through the whole fyftem, and difabled them from ex- 
exerting themielves with proper vigour in their martial, civil, and reli-. 
gious duties. 

I have already fhewn their averfion to eating of unfanctified fruits ; and ia 
this argument, that they abftain from feveral other things, contrary to the, 
ufage of all the old heathen world. It may be objected, that now they, 
feldom refufe to eat hogs flefh, when the traders invite them to it ; but this 
proceeds entirely from vicious imitation, and which is common, with the 
moft civilized nations. When fwine were firft brought among them, they 
deemed it fuch a horrid abomination in any of their people to eat that fil 
thy and impure food, that they excluded the criminal from all religious 
communion in their circular town-houfe, or in their quadrangular hoty 
ground at the annual expiation of fins, equally as if he had eaten unfancti-. 
fled fruics. After the yearly atonement was made at the temple, he was 
indeed re-admitted to his ufual privileges. Formerly, none of their be- 


j 34 O n the defcent of the American Indians from the 

loved men, or warriors, would eat or drink with us on the moft prefling 
invitation, through fear of polluting themfelves, they deemed us fuch im 
pure animals. Our eating the flefli of fwine, and venifon, with the gravy 
in it, helped to rivet their diQike, for this they reckon as blood. 

I once afked the Arcbimagus, to fit down and partake of my dinner , but 
he excufed himfelf, faying, he had in a few days fome holy duty to per 
form, and that if he eat evil or accnrfed food, it would fpoil him, allud 
ing to fwine's flefh. Though moft of their virtue hath lately been cor 
rupted, in this particular they ftill affix vicious and contemptible ideas to 
the eating of fwine's flefh , infomuch, that Shukapa, " fwine eater," is the 
moft opprobious epithet they can ufe to brand us with : they commonly 
fubjoin Akanggapa, " eater of dunghill fowls." Both together, fignify 
" filthy, helplefs animals." By our furprifmg mifmanagement in allowing 
them a long time to infult, abufe, rob, and murder the innocent Britim fub- 
jecls at pleafure, without the leaft fatisfaction, all the Indian nations for 
merly defpifed the Englim, as a fwarm of tame fowls, and termed them 
Ib, in their fet fpeeches. 

The Indians through a ftrong principle of religion, abftain in the 
ftrideft manner, from eating the BLOOD of any animal ; as it contains 
the life, and fpirit of the bead, and was the very eflence of the facri- 
fices that were to be offered up for finners. And this was the Jewifli 
opinion and law of facrifice, Lev. xvii. n. "for the life of the flefli 
is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar, to make an 
atonement for your fouls ; for it is the blood, which maketh an atone 
ment for the foul." When the Englim ^traders have been making faufages 
mixt with hog's blood, I have obierved the Indians to caft their eyes 
upon them, with the horror of -their reputed fore-fathers, when they 
viewed the predicted abomination of defolation, fulfilled by Antiochus, in 
defiling the temple. 

An inllance lately happened, which fufficiently mews their utter averfion 

to blood. A Chikkefah woman, a domeftic of one of the traders, being 

very ill with a complication of diforders, the Indian phyfician ieemed 

to ufe his bed endeavours to cure her, but without the leaft vifible effect. 

7 To 

*Thelr abft aining from blood. 135 

To preferve his medical credit with-the pepple, he at lad afcribed her ailment 
to the eating of fwine's fiefh, blood, and other polluting food: and faid,, 
that fuch an ugly? or accurfed ficknefs, overcame the power of all his 
beloved fongs, and phyfic ; and in anger, he left his fuppofed criminal 
patient to be punimed by Loak Imtohoollo. I afked her fome time after 
wards, what her ailments were, and what me imagined might have occa- 
fioned them? She faid, me was full of pain, that (he had Abeeka Ookproo, 
" the accurfed ficknefs," becaufe fhe had eaten a great many fowls after the 
manner of the white people, with the Jffijh Ockproo, " accurfed blood," in- 
them. In time fhe recovered, and now ftrictly abftains from tame fowls,, 
unlefs they are bled to death, for fear of incurring future evil, by the 
like pollution. 

There is not the lead trace among their ancient traditions, of their de- 
ferving the hateful name of cannibals, as our credulous writers have care 
fully copied from each other. Their tafte is fo oppofite to that of the An- 
throphagi, that they always over-drefs their meat whether roafted or 

The Mufkoghe who have been at war, timeout of mind, againft the Indians- 
of Cape-Florida, and at length reduced them to thirty men, who removed to 
the Havannah along with the Spaniards ; affirm, they could never be in 
formed by their captives, of the leaft inclination they ever had of eat 
ing human fielh, only the heart of the enemy which they all- do, fytn- 
pathetically (blood for blood) in order to infpire them with courage ; and 
yet the conftant lofTes they fuffered, might have highly provoked them to 
exceed their natural barbarity. To eat the heart of an enemy will in their 
opinion^ like eating other things, before mentioned, communicate and give 
greater heart againft the enemy. They alfo think that the vigorous fa 
culties of the mind are derived from the brain, on which account, I have 
feen fome of their heroes drink out of a human fkullj they imagine, they 
only imbibe the good qualities it formerly contained. 

When fpeaking to the Archimagus concerning the Hottentots, thofe he 
terogeneous animals according to the Portuguefe and Dutch accounts, he 
afked me, whether they builded and planted^ and what fort of food they 


156 On the defcent of the American Indians from the yews. 

chiefly lived upon. I told him, I was informed that they dwell in fmall 
nafty huts, and lived chiefly on (beep's guts and crickets. He laughed, 
and faid there was no credit to be given to the far-diftant writers of thofe 
old books, becaufe they might not have underftood the language and cuf- 
toms of the people ; but that thofe, whom our books reported to live on 
fuch nafty food, (if they did not deceive us) might have been forced to it 
for the want of better, to keep them from dying j or by the like occafion, 
they mighr have learned that ugly cuftom, and could not quit it when they 
were free from want, as the Choktah eat horfe-flefh, though they have 
plenty of venifon : however, it was very eafy, he faid, to know whether they 
were pofifefled of human reafon, for if they were endued with fhame to have 
a defire of covering their nakednefs, he concluded them to be human. He 
then aflted me, whether I had been informed of their having any fort of 
language, or method of counting as -high as the number of their fingers, 
either by words or expreffive motion , or of bearing a nearer refemblance to 
Tdwe the human creature, in laughter, than Shawe the ape bore ; or of 
being more focial and gregarious than thofe animals of the country where 
they lived. If they were endued with thofe properties, he affirmed them to 
be human creatures , and that fuch old lying books fliould not be credited. 

The more religious, or the leaft corrupted, of the various remote Indian 
nations, will not eat of any young bead when it is newly yeaned ; and their 
old men think they would fuffer damage, even by the bare contact : which 
feems to be derived from the Mofaic law, that prohibited fuch animals to 
be offered up, or eaten, till they were eight days old ; becaufe, till then, 
they were in an imperfect and polluted ftate! JThey appear, however, to be 
utterly ignorant of the dcfign and meaning of this appointment and prac 
tice, as well as of forne other cuftoms and inftitutions. But as the time of 
circurncifing the Ifraelitifh children was founded on this law of purity, it 
feems probable, that the American Aborigines obfcrved the law of circum- 
cifion, for fome .time after they arrived here, and defifted from it, when 
it became incompatible with the hard daily toils and (harp exercifes, 
which necefiity muft have forced them to purfue, to fupport life: efpe- 
cially when we^confider, that the fharpeft and moft Jafting affront, the 
mod opprobious, indelible epithet, with which one Indian can pof- 
fibly brand another, is to call him in public company, Hoobuk lVafke 9 
Eunuchus, prasputio detefto. They relent it fo highly, that in the year 

Their reafon for difujing circumcifiQrt. 

1750, -when the Cheerakee were on the point of commencing a war againft 
us, feveral companies of the northern Indians, in concert with them, com 
pelled me in the low^r Cheerakee town to write to the government of South- 
Carolina, that they made it their earned reqiieft to the Englifli not to me 
diate in their war with the Katahba Indians, as they were fully refolved to 
profecute it, with the greateft eagernefs, while there was one of that hate 
ful name alive ; becaufe in the time of battle, they had given them the ugly 
name of fhort-tailed eunuchs. Now as an eunuch was a contemptible name 
with the Ifraelites, and none of them could ferve in any religious office ; 
it mould feem that the Indians derived this opprobious and fmgular epithet 
from Jewifh tradition, as caftration was never in ufe among the ancient 
or prefent Americans. __ 

The Ifraelites were but forty years in the wildernefs, and would not have 
renewed the painful act of circumcifion, only that Jofhua inforced it : and 
by the neceffary fatigues and difficulties, to which as already hinted, the 
primitive Americans muft be expofed at their firft arrival in this wafte and 
extenfive wildernefs, it is likely they forbore circumcifion* upon the divine 
principle extended to their fuppofed predeceflbrs in the wildernefs, of not 
accepting facrifice at the expence of mercy. This might foothe them after 
wards wholly to reject it as a needlefs duty, efpecially if any of the eaftern 
heathens accompanied them in their travels in queft of freedom. And as it 
is probable, that by the time they reached America, they had worn out their 
knives and every other fharp inftrument fit for the occafion ; fo had they 
performed the operation with flint-ftones, or fharp fplinters, there is no 
doubt that each of the mothers would have likewife faid, " This day, thou* 1 
art to me a bloody hufband *." However, from the contemptible idea the- 
Americans fix to caftration, &c. it feems very probable the more religious 
among them ufed. circumcifion in former ages.. 

Under this argument, I muft obferve that Ai-u-be fignifies " the thigh" 
of any animal , and E-ee-fattdb Tekale, " the lower part of the thigh," or 
literally, " the hanging of the foot." And when in the woods, the In 
dians cut a fmall piece out of the lower part of the thighs of the deer 
they kill, length-ways and pretty deep. Among the great number of 
venilbn-hams they bring to our trading houfes, I do not remember to 

*' Exod. iv. 25, 26, 

T have- 

138 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

have obferved one without it ; from which I conjecture, that as every 
ancient cuftom was defigned to convey, either a typical, or literal in- 
ftructive lefibn of fome ufeful thing ; and as no ufage of the old heathen 
world refembled this cuttom ; it feems ftrongly to point at Jacob's wreftling 
with an angel, and obtaining for himfelf and his pofterity, the name, ^N"i% 
(perhaps, Tojher-ale] " divine guide," or " one who prevails with the omni 
potent," and to the children of Ifrael not eating the finew of the thigh of 
any animal, to perpetuate the memory of their anceftor's finew being fhrunk, 
which was to obtain the bleffing. 

The Indians always few their maccafenes with deer's finews, though 
of a (harp cutting quality, for they reckon them more fortunate than 
the wild hemp : but to eat fuch, they imagine would breed worms, and 
other ailments, in proportion to the number they eat. And I have been 
allured by a gentleman of character, who is now an inhabitant of South- 
Carolina, and well acquainted with the cuftoms of the northern Indians, that 
they alfo cut a piece out of the thigh of every deer they kill, and 
throw it away , and reckon it fuch a dangerous pollution to eat it, as to 
occafion ficknefs and other misfortunes of fundry kinds, efpecially by fpoil- 
ing their guns from fhooting with proper force and direction. Now as none 
of the old heathens had fuch a cuftom, muft it not be confidered as of 
Jfraelitim extraction ? 



The Indian MARRIAGES, DIVORCES, and PUNISHMENTS of adultery, ftill 
retain a ftrong likenefs to the Jewim laws and cuftoms in thefe points. 

The Hebrews had fponfalia de prefenti, and fponfalia de future: a con- 
fiderable time generally intervened between their contract and marriage : 
and their nuptial ceremonies were celebrated in the night. The Indians 
obferve the fame cuftoms to this day , infomuch, that it is ufual for an 
elderly man to take a girl, or fometimes a <:hild to be his wife, becaufe 
{he is capable of receiving good imprefiions in that tender ftate : frequently, 
a moon elapfes after the contract is made, and the value received, before 


be Jimilarity of their marriages, 

the bridegroom fleeps with the bride, and on the marriage day, he does 
not appear before her till night introduces him, and then without tapers. 

The grandeur of the Hebrews confided pretty much in the multiplicity 
of their wives to attend them, as a fiiowy retinue : as the meaner fore 
could not well purchafe one, they had a light fort of marriage fuitable 
to their circumftances, called by the fcholiafts, ufu capio\ " taking the 
woman for prefent ufe." When they had lived together about a year, if 
agreeable, they parted good friends by mutual confent. The Indians 
alfo are fo fond of variety, that they ridicule the white people, as a tribe 
of narrow-hearted, and dull conilitudoned animals, for having only one 
wife at a time; and being bound to live with and fupport her, though 
numberlefs circumftances might require a contrary conduct. When a 
young warrior cannot drefs alamode America, he itrikes up one of thofe 
matches for a few moons, which they term Tocpfa Tawah^ " a make hade 
marriage," becaufe it wants the ufual ceremonies, and duration of their 
other kind of marriages. 

The friendlieft kind of marriage among the Hebrews, was eating bread 
together. The bridegroom put a ring on the fourth finger of the bride's 
left hand before two witnefles, and faid, " Be thou my wife, according to 
the law of Mofes." Her acceptance and filence implying confent, con 
firmed her part of the marriage contract, becaufe of the rigid modefty of 
the eaftern women. When the mort marriage contract was read over, he 
took a cake of bread and broke it in two, for himfelf and her , or other- 
wife, he put fome corn between their hands : which cuftoms were ufed as 
llrong emblems of the neceffity of mutual induflry and concord, to obtain 
prefent and future happinefs. When an Indian makes his firft addrefs to 
the young woman he intends to marry, (he is obliged by ancient cuftom to 
fit by him till he hath done eating and drinking, whether me likes or 
diflikes him , but afterward, me is at her own choice whether to flay or 
retire *. When the bridegroom marries the bride, after the ufual prelude, 
he takes a choice ear of corn, and divides it in two before witnefles, gives 
her one half in her hand, and keeps the other half to himfelf ; or otherwife, 

* Cant. iii. 4. I held him and would not let him go, until I had brought him to my 
father's houfe, and into the chambers of her that conceived me : See Gen, xxiv. 67. Such 
was the cuftom of the Hebrews. 

T a he. 

3 4 3 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews* 

he gives her a deer's foot, as an emblem of the readinefs with which flic 
ought to ferve him : in return, fhe prefents him with fome cakes of 
bread, thereby declaring her domeftic care and gratitude in return for the 
offals , for the men feaft by themfelves, and the women eat the remains. 
When this fhort ceremony is ended, they may go to bed like an honeft 

Formerly, this was an univerfal cuftom among the native Americans ; but 
this, like every other ufage of theirs, is wearing out apace. The Weft-Flori- 
dans, in order to keep their women fubjeft to the law of adultery, bring 
fome venifon or buffalo's flefh to the houfe of their nominal wives, at the 
end of every winter's hunt : that is reckoned a fufficient annual tye of 
their former marriages, although the hufbands do not cohabit with them. 
The Mufkohge men, if newly married, are obliged by ancient cuftom, to 
get their own relations to hoe out the corn-fields of each of their wives, 
rhat their marriages may be confirmed : and the more jealous, repeat the 
cuftom every year, to make their wives fubject to the laws againft adultery. 
But the Indians in general, reckon that before the bridegroom can prefume 
to any legal power over the bride, he is after the former ceremonies, or 
others fomething fimilar, obliged to go into the woods to kill a deer, 
bring home the carcafs of venifon, and lay it down at her houfe wrapt up in 
its (kin ; and if (he opens the pack, carries it into the houfe, and then drefTes 
and gives him fome of it to eat with cakes before witnefies, (he becomes 
his lawful wife, and obnoxious to all the penalties of an adulterefs. 

The Hebrews had another fort of marriage by purchafe : the bride 
groom gave the father of the bride as much as he thought (he was worth : 
and according to the different valuation, fo fooner or later (he went off at 
market. The only way to know the merit of a Hebrew lady, was to 
fnquire the value for which her father would fell her, and the lefs rapacious 
he was, the fooner fhe might get an hufband. Divine writ abounds with 
inftances of the like kind ; as Gen. xxxiv. 12. " Afk me never fo much 
dowry and I will give it." David bought Michal, and Jacob dearly pur- 
chafed Rachel, &c. The women brought nothing with them, except their 
clothes, rings and bracelets, and a few trinkets. When the Indians would 
cxprefs a proper marriage, they have a word adapted according to their 
various dialects, to give them a fuitable idea of it j but when they are 


of tloeir marriages. 

flaking of their fenfual marriage bargains, they always term it, " buy 
ing a woman ;" for example they fay with regard to the former, Che-Awa- 
las^ " I flwll marry you," the laft fy liable denotes the firft perfon of 
the future tenfe, the former " I (hall make you, as Awa, or Hewa was 
to Ijh" which is confirmed by a ftrong negative fimilar exprefiion, Che- 
Aivala Awa, " I mall not marry you." But the name of their market 
marriages, is Otoofyha, Ebo Achumbaras^ SaookcMa y " In the fpring, I mail 
buy a woman, if I am alive." Or Eho Achumbara .Awa, " I (hall not buy 
a woman," Salbafa toogat, " for indeed I am poor :" the former ufage, and 
method of language is exactly calculated to exprefs that fingular cuftom of 
the Hebrews, per coemptionem. 

They fometimes marry by deputation or proxy. The intended bride* 
groom fends fo much in value to the neareft relations of the intended bride, 
as he thinks me is worth : if they are accepted, it is a good fign that her 
relations approve of the match, but me is not bound by their contract 
alone i her confent muft likewife be obtained, but perfuafions moft com 
monly prevail with them. However, if the price is reckoned too fmall, or 
the goods too few, the law obliges them to return the whole, either to hiin- 
fdf, or fome of his nearefb kindred. If they love the goods, as they term 
it, according to the like method of expreflion with the Hebrews, the loving 
couple may in a mort time bed together upon trial, and continue or dif- 
continue their love according as their fancy directs them. If they like each 
other, they become an honeft married couple when the nuptial ceremony 
is performed, as already defcribed. When one of their chieftains is mar 
ried, feveral of his kinfinen help to kill deer and buffalos, to make a 
rejoicing marriage feaft, to which their relations and neighbours are in 
vited : there the young warriors fing with their two chief muficians, who 
beat on their wet deer {kin tied over the mouth of a large clay-pot, 
and raife their voices, fmging To T* 9 &c. When they are tired with feaft- 
ing, dancing, and fmging the Epithalamium, they depart with friendly 
glad hearts, from the houfe of praife. 

If an Ifraelite lay with a bond woman betrothed, and not redeemed, me 
was to be beaten, but not her fellow criminal ; for in the original text, 
Lev. xix. 20. the word is in the fceminine gender. When offenders 
were beaten, they were bowed down, as Deut. xxv. 2. fo that they 


j 42 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

neither fat nor flood, and their whip had a large knot to it, which com 
manded the thongs, fo as to expand, or contrail them j the punifhment was 
always to be fuited to the nature of the crime, and the conftitution of the 
criminal. While the offenders were under the lafh, three judges flood by 
to fee that they received their full and juft due. The firll repeated 
the words of Deut. xxviii. 58. the feeond counted the ftripes, and the third 
faid, " Hack, or lay on." The offender received three lafhes on the 
breaft, three on the belly, three on each moulder, &c. But adultery 
was attended with capital punifhment, as Deut. xxii. 22. The parties when 
legally detected, were tried by the leffer judicatory, which was to confift, 
at kaft of twenty-three : the Sanhedrim gave the bitter waters to thofe 
women who were fufpected of adultery. The former were ftoned to death -, 
and the latter burft open, according to their imprecation, if they were 
guilty : the omnipotent divine wifdom imprefTed thofe waters with that 
wonderful quality, contrary to the common courfe of nature. The men 
married, and were divorced as often as their caprice directed them , for 
if they imagined their wives did not value them, according to their own 
partial opinion of themfelves, they notified the occafion of the diflike, in a 
fmall billet, that her virtue might not be fufpected : and when they gave 
any of them the ticket, they ate together in a very civil manner, and thus 
difTolved the contract. 

I have premifed this, to trace the refemblance to the marriage divorces and 
punifhments of the favage Americans. The middle aged people of a place, 
which lies about half-way to Mobille, and the Illinois, affure us, that they 
remember when adultery was punifhed among them with death, by mooting 
the offender with barbed arrows, as there are no ftones there. But what 
with the lofles of their people at war with the French and their favage confede 
rates, and the constitutional wantonnefs of their young men and women, they 
have through a political dere of continuing, or increafing their numbers, 
moderated the feverity of that law, and reduced it to the prefent ftandard of 
punifhment -, which is in the following manner. If a married woman is 
detected in adultery by one perfon, the evidence is deemed good in judg 
ment againft her , the evidence of a well grown boy or girl, they even 
reckon fufficient, becaufe of the heinoufnefs of the crime, and the difficulty 
of difcovering it in their thick forefts. This is a corruption of the 
Mofaic law, which required two evidences, and exempted both women 


nature of their divorces, wid pumjhments t for adultery* 143 

2nd flaves from public faith \ becaufe of the reputed ficklenefs of the one, 
and the bafe, groveling temper of the other. When the crime is proved 
againft the woman, the enraged hufband accompanied by fome of his 
relations, jurprifes and beats her moft barbaroufly, and then cuts off her 
hair and nofe, or one of her lips. There are many of that fort of disfigured 
females among the Chikkafah, and they are commonly the beft featured, 
and the moft tempting of any of their country-women, which expofed them 
to the fnares of young men. But their fellow-criminals, who proba 
bly firft tempted them, are partially exempted from any kind of corporal 

With the Mufkohge Indians, it was formerly reckoned adultery, if a 
man took a pitcher of water off a married woman's head, and drank of it. 
But their law faid, if he was a few fteps apart, and me at his requeft 
fet it down, and retired a little way off, he might then drink without ex- 
pofing her to any danger. If we ferioufly reflect on the reft of their na 
tive cuftoms, this old law, ib fingular to themfelves from the reft of the 
world, gives us room to think they drew it from the Jewifh bitter waters 
that were given to real, or fufpecled adukereffes, either to prove their guilt, 
or atre/l their innocence. 

Among thofe Indians, when adultery is difcovered, the offending parties 
commonly fet off ipeediiy for the diftant woods, to fccure themfelves from 
the fhameful badge of the fharp penal law, which they inevitably get, if they 
can be taken before the yearly offering for the atonement of fin , afterward, 
every crime except murder is forgiven. But they are always purfued, and 
frequently overtaken j though perhaps, three or four moons abfent, and two 
hundred miles off, over hills and mountains, up and down many creeks and 
rivers, on contrary courfes, and by various intricate windings the purfuers 
are eager, and their hearts burn within them for revenge. When the huf* 
band has the chilling news firft whifpered in his ear, he fteals off with his wic- 
nefs to fome of his kinfmen, to get them to aftifl him in revenging his in 
jury : they are foon joined by a fufficient number of the fame family, if the 
criminal was not of the fame tribe i otherwife, he chutes to confide in his 
neareft relations. When the witnefs has afierted to them the truth of his 
evidence by a ftrong afleveration, they feparate to avoid fufpicion, and 
meet commonly in the dufk of the evening, near the town of the adul- 
7 terer, 

144 n ^e defcent of the American Indians from the 

terer, where each of them provides a fmall hoop-pole, tapering to the pointy 
with knobs half an inch long, ('allowed by ancient cuftom) with which they 
correct the finners; for as their law in this cafe doth, not allow partiality 
if they punifhed one of them, and either excvifed or let the other efcape 
fromjuftice, like the Illinois, they would become liable to fuch punifhr 
ment as they had inflicted upon, either of the parties. 

They commonly begin with the adulterer, becaufe of the two, he is the 
more capable of making, his efcape : they, generally attack him at night, 
by furprife, left he mould make a defperate refiftance, and blood be med 
to cry for blood. They fall on eager and mercilefs, whooping their re 
vengeful noife, and thrafhing their captive, with'- their long-knobbed hoop- 
flails-, fome over his head and face-, others on his moulders and back*. 
His belly, fides, legs, and arms, are gamed all over, and at laft, he hap-r 
pily feems to be infenfible of pain:, then. they cut. off his ears*.. 

They obferve, however, a gradation of punifhment, according to the 
criminality of the adulterefs. For the firft breach of the marriage faith, they 
crop her ears and hair, if the hufband is fpiteful : either, of thofe badges 
proclaim her to be a whore, or Hakfe Kaneba^ " fuch as were evil in Car 
naan," for the hair of their head is their ornament : when loofe it com 
monly reaches below- their back;: and when tied, it ftands below the 
crown of [the head,, about four inches long,, and two broad. As the 

* Among thefe Indians,, the trading people's ears are often in danger, by the fliarpnefs of 
this law, and their fuborning falfe. witnefles, or admitting foolim children as legal evidence; 
but generally either the tender-hearted females or friends, give them timely notice of their dan 
ger. Then they fall to the rum-keg, and as foon as they find the purfuers approaching, 
they (land to arms in a threatning parade. Formerly, the traders like fo many Britifh tars, kept 
them, in proper awe, and.confequen.tly prevented them, from attempting any mifchief. Bat 
fince the patenteed race of Daublers fet foot in their land, they have gradually become worfe 
every year, murdering valuable innocent Britifh fubje&s at pleafure : and when they go 
down, they receive prefents as a tribute of fear, for which thefe Indians upbraid, and 
threaten us. The Mufkohge lately dipt off the ears of two white men for fuppofed adultery.. 
One had been a difciple of Slack Beardi the pirate ; and the other, at the time of going un 
der the hands of thofe Jewifh clippers, was deputed by the whimfical war-governor of 
Georgia, to awe the traders into an. obedience of his defpotic power. His fucce/Tor 
loft his life on the Chikkafah war-path, twenty miles above the Koofah, or uppermoft 
weftern town of the Mufkohge, in an attempt to arreft the traders ; which Ihould not by any 
be. undertaken in the Indian country, 

7 offender- 

ttcir punijhment of adultery. 145 

offender cuts a comical figure among the reft of the women, by being- 
trimmed fo fharp, me always keeps her dark winter hot houfe, till by 
keeping the hair moiflened with greafe, it grows fo long as to bear tying. 
Then me accuftoms herfelf to the light by degrees ; and foon feme worthlefs 
fellow, according to their ftandard, buys her for his And\ which term 
hath been already explained. 

The adulterer's ears are flamed off clofe to his head, for the firft aft of 
adultery, becaufe he is the chief in fault. If the criminals repeat the 
crime with any other married perfons, their nofes and upper lips are cut off. 
But the third crime of the like nature, is attended with more danger ; for 
their law fays, that for public heinous crimes, fatisfaftion mould be made 
vifible to the people, and adequate to the injuries of the virtuous, to fee 
their aggrieved hearts at eafe, and prevent others from following fuch a 
dangerous crooked copy. As they will not comply with their mitigated law 
of adultery, nor be terrified, nor foamed from their ill courfe of life-, 
that the one may not frighten and abufe their wives, nor the other feduce 
their hufbands and be a lading plague and (hame to the whole fociety, they 
are ordered by their ruling magi and war-chieftains, to be mot to death, 
which is accordingly executed : but this feldom happens. 

When I afked the Chikkafah the reafon of the inequality of their mar- 
riage-law, in punifhing the weaker paffive party, and exempting the 
itronger, contrary to reafon and juftice -, they told me, it had been fo a 
confiderable time becaufe their land being a continual feat of war, and the 
lurking enemy for ever peltin.g them without, and the women decoying 
them within, if they put fuch old crofs laws of marriage in force, all their 
beloved brifk warriors would foon be fpoiled, and their habitations turned 
to a wild wafte. It is .remarkable, that the .ancient Egyptians cut off the 
ears and nofe of the adukerefs; and the prophet alludes to this fort of pu- 
nifhment, Ezek. xxiii. 25. " They (hall deal furioufly with thee-: they mail 
take away thy nofe and thine ears," And they gave them alfo a thoufand 
ilripes, with canes on the .buttocks *. The Cheerake are an exception to 
all civilized or favage nations, in having no laws againft adultery ; they 

* When human laws were firft made, they commanded that if the hufhand found the adul 
terer in the fad, he fhould kill them both. Thus the laws of Solon and Draco ordained : 
but. the law of the twelve tables foftened it. 

U have 


146 On the defcenl of the American Indians from the Jews. 

have been a confiderable while under petticoat-government, and allow their 
women full liberty to plant their brows with horns as oft as they pleafe,, 
^without fear of punifhment. On this account their marriages are ill ob- 
ferved, and of a fhort continuance ; like the Amazons, they divorce their 
fighing bed-fellows, at their pleafure, and fail not to execute their autho 
rity, when their fancy directs them to a more agreeable choice. However, 
once in my time a number of warriors, belonging to the family of the huf- 
band of the adulterefs, revenged the injury committed by her, in her own 
way ; for they faid, as me loved a great many men, inftead of a hufband,, 
ijuftice told them to gratify her longing defire wherefore, by the infor 
mation of their fpies, they followed her into the woods a little way from 
the town, (as decency required) and then ftretched her on the ground, with-. 
her hands tied to a flake, and her feet alfo extended, where upwards of 
fifty of them lay with her, having a blanket for a covering. The Choktah. 
ebferve the fame favage cuftom with adultereiTes. They term their female 
delinquents, Ahowwe Ifhto -, the firft is a Cheerake word, fignifying, " & 
deer." -And through contempt of the Chikkafah, they altered their penal, 
law of adultery. 

The Mufkohge Indians, either through the view of mitigating their 
law againft adultery, that it might be adapted to their patriarchal-like 
government ; or by mifunderftanding the Mofaic precept, from length 
of time, and uncertainty cf oral tradition, oblige the adulterefs under 
the penalty of the fevereft law not to be free with any man, (unlefs me 
is inclined to favour her fellow fufferer) during the fpace of four moons, 
after the broken moon in which they fuffered for each other, according 
to the cuftom of the Maldivians. But her hufband expofes himfelf to 
the utmoft feverity of the marriage law, if he is known to hold a 
liar intercourfe with her after the time of her punimment. 


Many other of the INDIAN PUNISHMENTS, referable thofe of the Jews... 
"Whofoever attentively views the features of the Indian, and his eye, and 


tf/je jimilarity of their punifiments. 147 

reflets on his fickle, obftinate, and cruel difpofition, will naturally think 
on the Jews. Englim America, feelingly knows the parity of the temper 
of their neighbouring Indians, with that of the Hebrew nation. 

The Ifraelites cut off the hands and feet of murderers, 2 Sam. iv.- 12. 
ftrangled falfe prophets and fometimes burned, ftoned, or beheaded thofc 
malefactors who were condemned by the two courts of judgment. The 
Indians either by the defect of tradition, or through a greedy defire of re 
venge, torture their prifoners and devoted captives, with a mixture of all 
thofe Jewilh capital punimments. They keep the original fo clofe in their 
eye, as to pour cold water on the fufferers when they are fainting, or over 
come by the fiery torture to refrefh, and enable them to undergo longer 
tortures. The Hebrews gave wine mixt with the juice of myrrh, to their 
tortured criminals, to revive their fpirits ; and fometimes vinegar to prevent 
too great an effufion of blood, left they mould be difappointed in glut 
ting their greedy eyes, with their favourite tragedy of blood : which 
was eminently exemplified in their infulting treatment of Chrift on the 

The Indians, beyond all the reft of mankind, feem in this refpect to be 
actuated with the Jewifti fpirit. They jeer, taunt, laugh, whoop, and re 
joice at the inexpreflible agonies of thofe unfortunate perfons, who are un 
der their butchering hands ; which would excite pity and horror in any 
heart, but that of a Jew. When they are far from home, they keep as 
near to their diftinguifhing cuftoms, as circumftances allow them : not be 
ing able formerly to cut off the heads of thofe they killed in war, for want 
of proper weapons ; nor able to carry them three or four hundred miles 
without putrefaction, they cut off the (kin of their heads with their flint- 
ftone knives, as fpeaking trophies of honour, and which regifter them among 
the brave by procuring them war titles. Though now they have plenty of 
proper weapons, they vary not from this ancient barbarous cuftom of the 
American aborigines : which has been too well known by many of our 
northern colonifls, and is yet fhamefully fo to South-Carolina and Georgia 
barriers, by the hateful name of fcalping. 

The Indians ftrictly adhere more than the reft of mankind to that po- 
fitive, unrepealed law of Mofes, " He who Iheddeth man's blood, by 

U 2 man 

148 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

man (hall his blood be fhed :" like the Ifraelites, their hearts burn vio> 
lently day and night without intermiffion, till they fhed blood for bloodi 
They tranfmit from father to Ton, the memory of the lofs of their relation* 
or one of their own tribe or family, though it were an old woman if fhe 
was either killed by the enemy, or by any of their own people. If indeed 
the murder be committed by a kinfman, the eldefl can redeem : however*, 
if the circumftances attending the fact be peculiar and mocking to nature, 
the murderer is condemned to die the death of a fmner, " without any one 
to mourn for him," as in the cafe of filicide-, contrary to their ufage 
toward the reft of their dead, and which may properly be called the death or 
burial of a Jewiih afs, 

When they have hadifuccefs in killing the enemy, they tie fire-brands 
in the moft frequented places, with grape vines which hang pretty low, in 
order that they may be readily feen by the enemy. As they reckon the 
aggreflbrs have loudly declared war, it would be madnefs or treachery in 
their opinion to ufe fuch public formalities before they have revenged cry 
ing blood ; it would inform the enemy of their defign of retaliating, and 
deftroy the honeft intention of war. They likewife drip the bark offieveral 
large trees in confpicuous places, and paint them with red and black hiero 
glyphics, thereby threatening the enemy with more blood and death. The 
laft were ftrong and fimilar emblems with the Hebrews, and the firft is ana 
logous to one of their martial' cuftoms -, for when they arrived at the 
enemies territories, they threw a fire-brand within their land, as an emblem 
ef the anger of AJh, " the holy fire" for their ill deeds to his peculiarly be 
loved people. To which cuftom Obadiah alludes, when he fays, (vcr.. i8v) 
" they mail kindle in them and devour them, there mall not be any r&- 
maining of the houfe of Efau, &c." which the Septuagint tranflates, " one 
who carries a fire-brand." The conduct of the Ifraelitifh champion^ Samp- 
fon, againft the Philiftines, proceeded from the fame war cuftom, when he 
took three-hundred Sbugnatim, (which is a bold ftrong metaphor) fignifyr 
ing Vulpes^ foxes or (heaves of corn -, and tying them tail to tail, or one end 
to the other in a continued train, he fet fire to them, and by that means* 
burned down their Handing corn. 

In the late Cheerake war, at the earneft perfuafions of the trading people, fe- 
vcral of the Muikohge warriors came down to the barrier-fettlements of Geor 

*Tbe fimilarity of their punishments. 1-49 

gia, to go againft the Cheerake, and revenge Englim crying blood : but 
the main body of the nation fent a running embaffy to the merchants there, 
requefting them immediately to forbear their unfriendly proceedings, other- 
wife, they mould be. forced by difagreeable neceffity to revenge their rela^ 
tions blood if it fhould chance to be fpik contrary to their ancient laws*: 
this alludes to the levitical law, by which he who decoyed another to his 
end, was deemed the occafion of his death, and confequently anfwerable 
for it. If an unruly horfe belonging to a white man, mould chance to be 
tied at a trading houfe and kill one of the Indians, either the owner of the 
houfe, or the perfon who tied the beaft there,, is refponfible for it, by their 
lex talionis ; which feems to be derived alfo from the Mofaic precept, if. an 
ox known by its owner to pufh with its horn, mould kill a perfon, they were 
both to die the death. If the Indians have a diflike to a perfon, who by 
any cafualty was the death of one of their people, he (lands accountable, 
and will cmainly fuffer for it, unlels he takes fanctuary.. 

I knew an under trader, who being intruded by his employer with a 
cargo of goods for the country of the Mufkohge, was forced by the common 
law of good faith, to oppofe fome of thofe fav-ages in the remote woods, to 
prevent their robbing the camp: the chieftain being much intoxicated with 
fpirituous liquors, and becoming outrageous in proportion to the refiftance he 
met with, the trader like a brave man, oppofed lawlefs force by force : fome 
time after, the lawlefs bacchanal was attacked with a pleurify, of which he 
died. Then the heads o the family of the deceafed convened the leffer judi- 
catory, and condemned the trader to be mot to death for the fuppofed 
murder of their kinfman j which they eafily effected, as he was off his 
guard, and knew nothing of their murdering defign. His employer how 
ever had fuch a friendly intercourfe with them, as to gain timely notice 
of any thing that might affect his perfon or intereft j but he was fo far 
from afiifting the unfortunate brave man, as the laws of humanity and com 
mon honour obliged him, that as a confederate, he not only concealed their 
bloody intentions, but went bafely to the next town, while the: favages 
painted themfelves red and black, and give them an opportunity of perper 
trating the horrid murden The poor victim could have eafily efcaped to 
the Engliih fettlements if forewarned, and got the affair accommodated by the' 
mediation . of the gpvernment. In acts of blood, if the fuppofed mur 

150 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

derer efcapes, his neareft kinfman either real or adopted, or if he has none 
there, his friend ftands according to their rigorous law, anfwerable for the 
fact. But though the then governor of South Carolina was fufficiently in 
formed of this tragedy, and that it was done contrary to the treaty of 
amity, and that there is no pofiibility of managing them, but by their 
own notions of virtue, he was paflive, and allowed them with impunity to 
flied this innocent blood; which they ever fince have improved to our 
fhame and forrow. They have gradually become worfe every year ; and 
corrupted other nations by their contagious copy, fo as to draw them into 
the like bloody fcenes, with the fame contempt, as if they had killed fo 
many helplefs timorous dunghill fowls, as they defpitefully term us. 

There never was any fet of people, who purfued the Mofaic law of 
retaliation with fuch a fixt eagernefs as thefe Americans. They are fo deter 
mined in this point, that formerly a little boy mooting birds in the high and 
thick corn-fields, unfortunately chanced flightly to wound another with 
his childifh arrow; the young vindictive fox, was excited by cuftom to 
watch his ways with the utmoft earneftnefs, till the wound was returned 
in as equal a manner as could be expected. Then, " all was ftraight," 
according to their phrafe. Their hearts were at reft, by having executed 
that ftrong law of nature, and they fported together as before. This 
obfervation though fmall in itfelf, is great in its combined circumftances, 
as it is contrary to the ufage of the old heathen world. They forgive all 
crimes at the annual atonement of fins, except murder, which is always 
punifhed with death. The Indians conftantly upbraid us in their baccha 
nals, for inattention to this maxim of theirs ; they fay, that all nations of 
people who are not utterly funk in cowardice, take revenge of blood before 
they can have reft, coft what it will. The Indian Americans are more 
eager to revenge blood, than any other people on the whole face of the 
earth. And when the heart of the revenger of blood in Ifrael was hot 
within him, it was a terrible thing for the cafual man/layer to meet him, 
Deut. xix. 6. " Left the avenger of blood purfue the flayer while his heart 
is hot, and overtake him, becaufe the way is long, and flay him ; whereas 
he was not worthy of death, inafmuch as he hated him not in time paft." 

I have known the Indians to go a thoufand miles, for the purpofe of 

revenge, in pathlefs woods ; over hills and mountains ; through large cane 

3 fwamps, 

*The law of retaliation. 151 

fwamps, full of grape-vines and briars ; over broad lakes, rapid rivers, and 
deep creeks ; and all the way endangered by poifonous fnakes, if not with 
the rambling and lurking enemy, while at the fame time they were expofed 
to the extremities of heat and eold, the viciffitude of the feafons , to 
hunger and thirfl, both by chance, and their religious fcanty method of liv 
ing when at war, to fatigues, and other difficulties. Such is their over 
boiling revengeful temper, that they utterly contemn all thofe things 
as imaginary trifles, if they are fo happy as to get the fcalp of the murderer, 
or enemy, to fatisfy the fuppofed craving ghofts of their deceafed rela 
tions. Though they imagine the report of guns will fend off the ghofts of 
their kindred that died at home, to their quiet place, yet they firmly 
believe, that the fpirits of thofe who are killed by the enemy, without 
equal revenge of blood, find no reft, and at night haunt the houfes of the 
tribe to which they belonged*: but, when that kindred duty of retaliation 
is juftly executed, they immediately get eafe and power to fly away : This 
opinion, and their method of burying and mourning for the dead, of which 
we (hall fpeak prefently, occafion them to retaliate in fo earneft and fierce 
a manner. It is natural for friends to ftudy each others mutual happinefs, 
and we fhould pity the weaknefs of thofe who are deftitnte of our ad 
vantages ; whofe intellectual powers are unimproved, and who are utterly 
unacquainted with the fciences, as well as every kind of mechanical bufmefs, 
to engage their attention at home. Such perfons cannot well live with 
out war , and being deftitute of public faith to fecure the lives of em- 
bafladors in time of war, they have no fure method to reconcile their dif 
ferences : confequently, when any cafual thing draws them into a war, it 
grows every year more fpiteful till it advances to a bitter enmity, fo as to 
excite them to an implacable hatred to one another's very national names. 
Then they muft go abroad to fpill the enemy's blood, and to revenge crying 
blood. We muft alfo confider, it is by fcalps they get all their war- titles, 
which diftinguifh them among the brave : and thefe they hold in as high 
efteem, as the moft ambitious Roman general ever did a great triumph. 
By how much the deeper any fociety of people are funk in ignorance, fa- 
much the more they value themfelves on their bloody merit. This was 

* As the Hebrews fuppofed there was a holinefs in Canaan/more than in any other land, 
fo they believed that their bodies buried out of it, would be carried through caverns, or fub- 
terraneous paflages of the earth to the holy land, where they, lhall rife again and dart up to 
their holy attracting centre, . 


:i2 O the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

long the characteriftic of the Hebrew nation, and has been conveyed down 
to thefe their fuppofed red defcendants. 

.However, notwithftariding their bloody temper and conduct towards ene 
mies, when their law of blood does not interfere, they obferve that Mofaic 
precept, " He mall be dealt/with according as he intended to do to his 
neighbour, but the innocent and righteous man thou fhalt not flay." I 
muft obferve alfo that as the Jewim priefts were by no means to Ihed hu 
man blood, and as king David was forbidden by the prophet to build a 
:temple becaufe he was a man -of war and had fhed blood fo, the Indian 
JJhtohoollo " holy men" are by their function abfolutely forbidden to flay; 
notwithftanding their propenfity thereto, even for fmall injuries. They 
will not allow the greateft warrior to officiate, when the yearly grand facri- 
fice of expiation is offered up, or on any other religious occafion, except the 
leader. All muft be performed by their beloved men, who are clean of 
every (lain of blood, and have their foreheads circled with ftrcaks of white 

As this branch of the general fubject cannot be illustrated, but by 
well-known facts, I mail exemplify it with the late and long-continued 
conduct of the nothern Indians, and thofe of Cape Florida, whom our navi 
gators have reported to be cannibals. The Muskohge, who have been bit 
ter enemies to the Cape Florida Indians, time immemorial, affirm their 
manners, tempers and appetites, to be the very fame as thofe of the 
, neighbouring Indian nations. And the Florida captives who were .fold in 
Carolina, have told me, that the Spaniards of St. Auguftine and St. Mark's 
garrifons, not only hired and paid them for murdering our feamen, who 
were fo unfortunate as to be fhipwrecked on their dangerous coaft ; but 
that they delivered up to the favages thofe of our people they did not 
like, to be put to the fiery torture. From their bigotted perfecuting ipirit, 
we may conclude the victims to have been thofe who would not worfhip 
their images and crucifixes. The Spaniards no doubt could eafily in 
fluence this decayed fmall tribe to fuch a practice, as they depended upon 
them for the neceflaries of life : and though they could never fettle out 
of their garrifons in Weft-Florida, on account of the jealous temper of the 
neighbouring unconquered Indians, yet the Cape-Floridans were only 
Spaiiifh mercenaries, fhedding blood for their maintenance. A fedticed Ir> 

7 diaa 

T/jeir law of retaliation 153 

dian is certainly lefs faulty than the apoftate Chriftian who inftigated him: 
when an Indian fheds human blood, it does not proceed from wantonnefs, 
or the view of doing evil, but folely to put the law of retaliation in force, 
to return one injury for another ; but, if he has received no ill, and has 
no fufpicion of the kind, he ufually offers no damage to thole who fall 
in his power, but is moved with companion, in proportion to what they 
feem to have undergone. Such as they devote to the fire, they flatter 
with the hope of being redeemed, as long as they can, to prevent the 
giving them any previous anxiety or grief, which their law of blood does 
not require. 

The French Canadians are highly cenfurable, and their bloody popifli 
clergy, for debauching our peaceable northern Indians, with their infernal 
catechifm, the firft introduction into their religious myfteries. Formerly, 
when they initiated the Indian fuckiings into their mixt idolatrous worfhip, 
they faftened round their necks, a bunch of their favourite red and black 
beads, with a filver crofs hanging down on their breads, thus engaging 
them, as they taught, to fight the battles of God. Then they infected 
the credulous Indians with a firm belief, that God once fent his own be 
loved fon to fix the red people in high places of power, over the reft 
of mankind; that he paiTed through various countries, to the univerfal 
joy of the inhabitants, in order to come to the beloved red people, and 
place them in a fuperior ftation of life to the reft of the American 
world ; but when he was on the point of failing to America, to execute his 
divine embafiy, he was murdered by the bloody monopolizing Englifh, at 
the city of London, only to make the red people weigh light. Having 
thus inftrufted, and given them the catechifm by way of queftion and 
anfwer, and furnifhed them with 2000 grofs of fcalping knives and other 
murdering articles, the catechumens foon fallied forth, and painted them- 
felves all over v/ith the innocent blood of our fellow-fubjects, of different 
ftations, and ages, and without any diftinction of fex, contrary to the 
(landing Indian laws of blood. 

The Britifh lion at laft however triumphed, and forced the French them- 
felves to fue for that friendly intercourfe and protection, which their for 
mer catechifm taught the Indians to hate, and fly from, as dangerous to 
their univerfal happinefs. 

X When 

1 54 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

When I have reafoned with fome of the old headmen, againft their bar 
barous cuftom of killing defencelefs innocent perfons, who neither could 
nor would oppofe them in battle, but begged that they might only live to 
be their flaves, they told me that formerly they never waged war, but. 
in revenge of blood ; and that in fuch cafes, they always devoted the guilty 
to be burnt alive when they were purifying themfelves at home, to obtain, 
victory over their enemies. But otherwife they treated the vanquifhed with, 
the greateft clemency, and adopted them in the room of their relations, 
who had either died a natural death, or had before been fufficiently revenged,, 
though killed by the enemy. 

The Ifraelites thus often devoted their captives- to death, without-any di- 
flinftion of age or fex, as when they took Jericho, they faved only merciful; 
Rahab and her family , after they had plundered the Midianites of their, 
riches, they put men women and children to death, dividing among them 
felves a few virgins and the plunder y with other inftances that: might be 
quoted. The Indian Americans, beyond all the prefent race of Adam, ., 
are actuated by this bloody war-cuftom of the Ifraelites j they put their 
captives to various lingering torments, with the fame, unconcern as the 
Levite, when he cut up his beloved concubine into eleven portions,, and 
fent them to the eleven tribes, to excite them to revenge the affront,, the 
Benjamites had given him. When equal blood has not been fhed to quench 
the crying blood of their relations, and give reft to their ghofts, according 
to their credenda, while they are fanclifying themfelves for war, they, 
always allot their captives either to be killed or put to the fiery torture : 
and they who are thus devoted,, cannot by any means be faved, though-, 
they refembled an angel in beauty and virtue. 

Formerly, the Indians defeated a great body of the French, who at 
two different times came to invade their country. They put to the fiery 
torture a confiderable number of them , and two in particular, whom 
they imagined to have carried the French ark againft them. The Engliflv 
traders folicited with the moft earned entreaties, in favour of the unfor 
tunate captives , but they averred, that as it was not our bufmefs to 
intercede in behalf of a deceitful enemy who came to fhed blood, unlefs 
we were refolved to mare their deferved fate, fo was it entirely out 
of the reach of goods, though piled as high as the fkies, to redeem them, 
7 becaufe 

*Thetr law of retaliation. 

becaufe they were not only the chief fupport of the French army, in fpoil- 
ing fo many of their warriors by the power of their ugly ark, before they 
conquered them ; but were delivered over to the fire, before they entered 
into battle. 

When I was on my way to the Chikkafah, at the Okchai, in the year 
1745, the con duel: of the Mufkohge Indians was exactly the fame with 
regard to a Cheerake {tripling, whofe father was a white man, and mother 
an half-breed, regardlefs of the prefiing entreaties and very high offers of 
the Englifh traders, they burned him in their ufual manner. This feemS 
to be copied from that law which exprefly forbad the redeeming any de 
voted perfons, and ordered that they mould be furely put to death, 
Lev. xxvii. 29. This precept had evidently a reference to the law of 
retaliation. Saul in a fuperftitious and angry mood, wanted to have mur 
dered or facrificed to God his favourite fon Jonathan, becaufe when he was 
fainting he tafted fome honey which cafually fell in his way, juft after he 
had performed a prodigy of martial feats in behalf of Ifrael : but the gra 
titude, and reafon of the people, prevented him from perpetrating that 
horrid murder. If devoting to death was of divine extraction, or if God 
delighted in human facrifices, the people would have been criminal for 
daring to oppofe the divine law, which was not the cafe. Such a law if 
taken in an extenfive and literal fenfe, is contrary to all natural reafon and 
religion, and confequently in a ftric~l fenfe, could not be enjoined by a be 
nevolent and merciful God j who commands us to dojuftice and (hew 
mercy to the very beafls ; not to muzzle the ox while he is treading out 
the grain ; nor to infnare the bird when performing her parental offices. 
" Are ye not of more value than many fparrows ?'* 

The Indians ufe no ftated ceremony in immolating their devoted captives, 
although it is the fame thing to the unfortunate victims, what form their 
butcherers ufe. They are generally facrificed before their conquerors fee 
off for war with their ark and fuppofed holy things. And fometimes the 
Indians devote every one they meet in certain woods, or paths, to be killed 
there, except their own people ; this occafioned the cowardly Cheerake iri 
the year 1753, to kill two white men on the Chikkafah war-path, which 
leads from the country of the Mufkohge. And the Shawanoh Indians who 

X 2 fettled 

156 On the defcent of the American Indians f ram the 

fettled between the Ooe-Afa and Koofah-towns> told us, that their people to 
the northward had devoted the Enghfh to death for the fpace of fix years ; 
but when that time was expired and not before, they would live in friend- 
fhip as formerly. If the Englifh had at that time executed their owa 
law againft them,, and demanded equal blood from die Cheerake, and 
ftopt all trade with, them before they dipt themfelves too deep in blood, 
they would foon have had a firm peace with, all the Indian nations. This 
is the only way of treating them now, for when they have not the fear 
of offending, they will fhed innocent blood, and proceed in the endl 
to lay all reftraint afide.. 

The late conduct of the Chikkafah war-council, in condemning two pre 
tended friends to death, who came with a view of medding blood ;. ihews. 
their knowledge of that equal law of divine appointment to the Jews, " he 
lhall be dealt with exactly as he intended, to do to his neighbour." 

It ought to be remarked, that they are careful of their youtfi, and 
fail not to punilh them when they tranfgrefs. Anno 1766, I faw an old 
head man, called the Dog-King (from the nature of his office) correct, 
feveral young perfons fome for fuppofed faults, and others by way of 
prevention. He began with a lufty young fellow, who was charged with 
being more effeminate than became a warrior , and with acting contrary 
to their old religious rites and cuftoms, particularly, becaufe he lived 
nearer than any of the reft to an opulent and helplefs German, by whom 
they fuppofed- he might have been corrupted. He baftinadoed the young 
finner feverely, with a thick whip, about a fopt and a half long, compofed 
of plaited filk grafs, and the fibres of the button fnake-root ftalks, tapering, 
to the point, which was fecured with a knot. He reafoned with him, as he 
corrected him : he told him that he was Chehakfe Kaneba-He, literally, " you 
are as one who is wicked, and almoft loft *." The grey-hair'd corrector 
faid, he treated him in that manner according to ancient, cuftom, through, 
an efFecl: of love, to induce him to fhun vice, and to imitate, the virtues of 

* As Cbin-Kanebab fignifies. "you. have loft," and Cbe*Kanebah, "you are loft," it 
feems to point at the method the Hebrews ufed in correding their criminals in Canaan, and' 
to imply a fimilarity of manners. The word they ufe to exprefs " forget fulnefs," looks the 
very fame way, IJh Al Kanehab, " you forger," meaning that IJh. and Canaan are forgotten, 
by Alt* 


correction of children and youth. 157 

Bis illuftrious fore-fathers, which he endeavoured to enumerate largely : 
when the young fmner had received his fuppofed due, he went off feem- 
ingly well pleafed. 

This Indian correction lefiens gradually in its feverity, according to the 
age of the pupils. While the Dog-King was catechifing the little ones, 
he faid Che Hakfmna* "do not become vicious." And when they wept y 
he faid Che-Abela Awa y " I mall not kill, you," or " I.fhall not put you into, 
the ftate of bleeding Abele*" 

Like the prefent Jews, their old men are tenacious of their ancient rices* 
and cuftoms ; imagining them to be the fure channel through which all 
temporal good things flow to them, and by which the oppofite evils are 
averted. No wonder therefore, that they ftill retain a multiplicity of He 
brew words, which were repeated often with, great reverence in the temple j. 
and adhere to many of their ancient rules and methods of punifhment. 

* The Indians ufe the word Hakfe, to convey the idea of a perfon's being criminal in any 
thing whatsoever. If they mention not the particular crime, they add, Hakfet Kanehah^ 
pointing as it were to thofe who were punifhed in Canaan. Such unfortunate perfons as 
are mad, deaf, dumb or blind, are called by no other name than Hakfe. In like manner 
Kallakfe fignifies "contemptible, unfteady, light,, or eafily thrown afide," it is a diminu 
tive of V"?p> of the fame meaning. And they fay fueh an one is Kallaks'-Ijhto, " execrated,, 
or accurfed to God," becaufe found light in the divine balance. As the American Abori 
gines ufed no weights, the parity of language here with the Hebrew, feems to a/Ture us,, 
they originally derived this method of expreffion from the Ifraelites, who took the fame idea 
from the poife of a balance, which divine writ frequently mentions. Job, chap. xxxi;. 
defcribes juftice with a pair of fcales, "Let me be weighed in an even balance, that! 
may know my perfection." And they call weighing, or giving a preference, 7'ekale, accord 
ing to the fame figure of. fpeech : and it agrees both in expreffion and meaning, with the. 
Chaldean Tekel, if written with Hebrew characters, as in that extraordinary appearance on the 
wall of the Babylonifh monarch, interpreted by the prophet Daniel. When they prefer one 
perfon and would lefien another, they fay Eeapa Wehke Tekale, "this one weighs heavy," 
and Eeako Kallakfe, or KalV aki'oojhe Tekale, " that one weighs light, very light." When 
any of their people are killed on any. of the hunting paths, they frequently fay, Hcenna tungga. 
Tannip Tekale, " right on the path, he was weighed for the enemy, or the oppofite party," 
for Tannip is the only word they have to exprefs the words enemy and the oppofite ; as Ook'beenna 
Tannip, " the oppofite fide of the water path:" hence it is probable, they borrowed that 
notable Aflyrian expreflion while in -their fuppofed captivity, brought it with them to Ame 
rica, and introduced it into their language, to commemorate fo furprifing an event. 


158- On the defctnt of the Amerkan Indians from the Jews* 


The Israelites had CITIES OF REFUGE, or places of fafety, for thofe wh& 
killed a perfon ,unawares, and without defign , to fhelter them from the 
blood-thirfty relations of the deceafed, or the revenger of blood, who 
always purfued or watched the unfortunate perfon, like a ravenous wolf : 
but after the death of the high-pried the man-flayer -could fafely return 
home, and nobody durft moleft him. 

According to the fame particular divine law of mercy, each of thefe 
Indian nations have either a houfe or town of refuge, which is a furc 
afylum to protect a man-flayer, or the -unfortunate captive, if they can 
once enter into it. The Cheerake, though now exceedingly corrupt, 
ftill obferve that law fo inviolably, as to allow their beloved town the 
privilege of protecting a wilful murtherer: but they feldom allow him to 
return home afterwards in fafety they will revenge blood for blood, 
.unlefs in fome very particular cafe when the eldeft can redeem. However, 
if he fhould accept of the price of blood to wipe away its ftains, and dry 
up the tears of the reft of the neareft kindred of the deceafed, it is gene 
rally productive of future ills , either when -they are drinking fpirituous 
liquors, or dancing their enthufiaftic war dances, a ,tomohaw.k is likely 
to be funk into .the head of fome of his relations. 

Formerly, when one of the Cheerake murdered an Englifh trader he 
.immediately ran off for the town of refuge ; but as foon as he got in view 
of it, the inhabitants difcovered him by the clofe purfuit of the fhrill war- 
whoo-whoop -, and for fear of irritating the Engliih, they inftantly anfwered 
the war cry, ran to arms, intercepted, and drove him off into Tennafe river 
(where he efcaped, though mortally wounded) left he fliould have entered 
tthe reputed holy -ground, and thus it had been ftained with the blood of 
their friend i or he had obtained fancluary to the danger of the community, 
.and the foreign contempt of their .faded altars. 


Their cities of refuge* 

This town of refuge called Cbo&tti is ficuated on a large ftream of the 
Miflifippi,. five miles above the late unfortunate Fort-Loudon, where fome 
years ago, a brave Englifhman was protected after killing an Indian war 
rior in defence of his property. The gentleman told me, that as his trading 
houfe was near to that town of refuge, he had refolved with himfelf, after 
fome months flay in it, to return home , but the head-men aflured him, 
that though he was then fafe, it would prove fatal if he removed thence ; 
fo he continued in his afylum ftill longer, till the affair was by- time more 
obliterated, and he had wiped off all their tears with various prefents. In 
die upper or molt weftern part of the country of the Mufkohge, there was 
an old beloved town, now reduced to a fmall ruinous village, called Kotfab, 
which is dill a place of fafety for thofe who kill undefignedly. It ftands 
on commanding ground, over-looking a. bold river, which after running 
about forty leagues, fweeps clofe by the late mifchievous French garrifon 
Alebamah, and down to Mobille- Sound, 200 leagues diftance, and fo into 
the gulph of Florida.. 

In almoft every Indian nation; there are feveral peaceable towns, which- 
are called "old-beloved," "ancient, holy, or white -.towns *;" they feem 
to have been formerly " towns of refuge," for it is not in the memory of. 
their oldeft people, that ever human blood was fhed in them , although they, 
often force perfons from thence, and put them to death elfewhere* 


Before the Indians go to WAR, they have many preparatory ceremonies- 
of purification and faffing, like what is recorded of the Ifraelites. 

In the firft commencement of a war, a party of the injured tribe turns- 
out firft, to revenge the innocent crying blood of their own bone and flefh, 
as they term it. When the leader begins to beat up for volunteers, he 
goes three times round his dark winter-houfe, contrary to the courfe of the 
fun, founding the. war-whoop, finging the war-fong, and beating the drum. 

* WHITE is their fixt emblem of peace, friendfnip, happinefs, profperity, purity, .holi- 
nefs, &c. as with the Ifraelites, 

- Then; 

ri 60 On tht defcent of the American Indian* from the Jews. 

Then he fpeaks to the liftening crowd with very rapid language, irjort 
paufes, and an awful commanding voice, tells them of the continued friendly 
offices they have done the enemy, but which have been ungratefully re 
turned with the blood of his kinfmen; therefore as the white paths have 
changed their beloved colour, his heart burns within him with eagernefs to 
tincture them all along, and even to make them flow over with the hateful 
blood of the bale contemptible enemy. Then he ftrongly perfuades his 
kindred warriors and others, who are not afraid of the enemies bullets and 
arrows, to come and join him with manly cheerful hearts : he allures them, 
he is fully convinced, as they are all bound by the love -knot, fo they are 
ready to hazard their lives to revenge the blood of their kindred and coun 
try- men , that the love of order, and the neceflity of complying with the 
old religious cuftoms of their country, had hitherto checked their daring 
generous hearts, but now, thofe hindrances are removed : he proceeds 
to whoop again for the warriors to come and join him, and fanctify 
themfelves for fuccefs againft the common enemy, according to their 
ancient religious law. 

"By his eloquence, but chiefly by their own -greedy third of revenge, 
and intenfe love of martial glory, on which they conceive their liberty 
aod happinefs depend, and which they conftanxly inftil into the minds 
-of their youth a number foon join -him in his winter-houfe, where 
.they live feparate from all others, and purify themfelves for the fpace 
of three days and nights, .exclufive of the firil broken day. In each of 
thofe days they obferve a itric"l faft till fun-fet, watching the young men 
very narrowly who have not been initiated in war-titles, left unufual hun 
ger fhould tempt them to violate it, to the fuppofed danger of all their 
lives in war, by deftroying the power of their purifying beloved phyfic, 
which they drinlc plentifully during that time. This purifying phyfic, 
is warm water highly imbittered with button-rattle-fnake-root, which as 
hath been before obferved, they apply only to religious purpofes. Some 
times after bathing they .drink .a decoclion made of the faid root and in 
like manner the leader applies afperfions, or fprinklings, both at home and 
when out at war. They .are fuch itrict obfervers of the law of purification,, 
and think it fo efiential in obtaining health and fuccefs in war, as not to 
allow the beft beloved trader that ever lived among them, even to enter 
rthe beloved ground, appropriated to the religious duty of being fnafti- 
7 fied 

T&eir preparatory ceremonies for war. 16 f 

Bed for war ; much lefs to afibciate with the camp in the woods, though 
he went (as I have known it to happen) on the fame war defignj they 
oblige him to walk and encamp feparate by himfelf, as an impure danger 
ous animal, till the leader hath purified him, according to their ufual time 
and method, with the confecrated things of the ark. With the Hebrews, 
the ark of Berith, " the purifier," was a fmall wooden cheft, of three feet 
nine inches in length, two feet three inches broad, and two feet three inches 
in height. It contained the golden pot that had manna in it, Aaron's rod, 
and the tables of the law. The INDIAN ARK is'of a very fimple conitruc- 
tion, and it is only the intention and application of it, that makes it wor 
thy of notice j for it is made with pieces of wood fccurely fattened to-* 
gether in the form of a fquare. The middle of three of the fides extend 
a little out, but one fide is flat, for the conveniency of the perfon's back 
who carries it. Their ark has a cover, and the whole is made impenetrably 
clofe with hiccory-fplinters ; it is about half the dimenfions of the divine 
Jewifh ark, and may very properly be called the red Hebrew ark of the 
purifier, imitated. The leader, and a beloved waiter, carry it by turns. It 
contains feveral conlecrated w veffels, made by beloved fuperannuated wo 
men, and of fuch various antiquated forms, as would have puzzled Adam 
to have given fignificant names to each. The leader and his attendant, 
are purified longer than the reft of the company, that the firlt may be fit 
to act in the religious office of a prieft of war, and the other to carry the 
awful facred ark. All the while they are at war, the Hetiffitj or " beloved 
waiter," feeds each of the warriors by an exact ftated rule, giving them 
even the water they drink, out of his own hands, left by intemperance they 
tlioukl fpoil the fuppofed communicative power of their holy things, and 
occafion fatal diiafters to the war camp. 

The ark, mercy-feat, and cherubim, were the very efience of the levi- 
tical law, and often called " the teftimonies of Tobewab." The ark of 
the temple was termed his throne, and David calls it his foot-ftool. In 
fpeaking of the Indian places of refuge for the unfortunate, I obferved, 
that if a captive taken by the reputed power of the beloved things of 
the ark, fhould be able to make his efcape into one of thefe towns, or 
even into the winter-houfe of the Archi-magus, he is delivered from the 
fiery torture, otherwife inevitable. This when joined to the reft of the 
faint images of the Mofaic cuftoms they Hill retain, fcems to point at 
tiie mercy-feat in the {ancillary. It is alfo highly worthy of notice, that they 

Y never 

1 62 On tie defcent of the American Indians from- the Jews.. 

never place the ark on the ground, nor fit on the bare earth while 
are carrying it againft the enemy. On hilly ground where ftones are 
plenty, they place it on them : but in level' land upon mort logs, always 
refting themfdves on the like materials. Formerly, when this tradt was the 
Indian Flanders of America, as the French, and all their red Canadian con 
federates were bitter enemies to the inhabitants, we often faw the woods full 
of fuch religious war-reliques. The former is a ftrong imitation of the 
pedeftal, on which the Jewim ark was placed, a (lone rifing three ringers 
breadth above the floor. And when we confider in what a furprifing 
manner the Indians copy after the ceremonial law of the Hebrews, and 
their ftrifl purity in their war camps , that Qpae> " the leaden," obliges 
all during the firft campaign they make with the beloved'ark, to (land, every 
day they lie by, from fun-rife to fun-fet and after a= fatiguing day's march, 
and fcanty allowance, to drink warm water imbittered with rattle-fnake-root 
very plentifully,, in order to be purified that they have alfo as ftrong a- 
faith, of the power and holinefs of their ark, as ever the Ifraelites retained 
of their's, afcribing the fuperior fuccefs of the party, to their ftri<5ler 
adherence to- the law than the other j and after they return, home, hang 
k on the leader's red-painted war pole we have ftrong reafon to conclude: 
their origin is Hebrew. From the Jewiflti ark of the tabernacle and the tem 
ple, the ancient heathens derived their arks,, their cift<e or religious chefis, 
their Teraphim or Dii Lares, and their tabernacles and temples. But their 
modes and objects of worlhip^ differed very widely from thofe of the Ame 

The Indian, ark is deemed fo facred and dangerous to be touched, either 
by their own fanfbifted warriors, or the fpoiling enemy, that they durft not 
touch it upon any account *. It is not to be meddled with by any, except 
the war chieftain and his waiter,, under the penalty of incurring great evil. 


* A gentleman who was at the Ohio,, in the year 1756, a/lured me he faw a flranger there 
very importunate to view the infide of the Cheerake ark, which was covered with a dreit decr- 
fkin, and placed on a couple of fhort blocks. An Indian centinel watched it, armed with a 
hiccory bow, and brafs-pointed baibed arrows, and he was faithful to his truil; for finding 
the Granger obtruding to pollute the fuppofed facred vehicle, he drew an arrow to the head,, 
and would have mot him- through the body, had he not fuddenly withdrawn ; the interpreter, 
when afked by the gentleman what it contained, told him there was nothing in it but a bun 
dle of conjuring traps. This fhews what conjurers our common interpreters are, and how 
much the learned world have really profited by their informations. The Indians have an old, 


n?ir abftinence from women during war. 163 

ISTor would the mod inveterate enemy touch it in the woods for the very 
-fame reafon; which is agreeable to the religious -opinion and cuftoms of the 
Hebrews, reflecting the facrednefs of their ark, witnefs what befel Uzzah, 
for touching it, though with a religious view, and the Philiftincs for carry 
ing it away, fo that they foon thought proper to return it, with prefents. 

The leader virtually acts the part of a prieft of war, pro lempore^ in imi 
tation of the Israelites fighting under the divine military banner. If they 
obtain the victory, and get fame of the enemies fcalps, they fanctify themfelve* 
when they make their triumphal entrance, in the manner they obferved 
before they fet off to war; but, if their expedition proves unfortunate, 
they only mourn over their lofs, afcribing it to the vicious conduct of 
fome of the followers of the beloved ark. What bluflies fhould this fa- 
vage virtue raife in the faces of nominal chriftians, who ridicule the un 
erring divine wifdorrt, for the effects of their own imprudent or vicious 
conduct. May they learn from the rude uncivilized Americans, that vice 
neceffarily brings evil and virtue, happinefs. 

The Indians will not cohabit with women while they are out at war ; 
they religioufly abftain from every kind of intercourfe even with their 
own wives, for the fpace of three days and nights before -they go to war, 
and fo after they return home, becaufe they are to fanctify themfelves. 
This religious war cuftom, efpecially in fo favage a generation, feems 
to >e derived from the Hebrews, who thus fanctirkd themfelves, to gain 
the divine protection, and victory over their common enemies : as in 
the precept of Mofes to the war camp when he afcended Mount Sinai ; and 
in Jofliua's prohibition to the Ifraelites *; and in the cafe of Uriah. The 
warriors confider themfelves as devoted to God apart from the reft of the 

.tradition, that when they left their own native land, they brought with them a fanttified 
rod by order of an oracle, which they fixed every night in the ground ; and were to remove 
from place to place on the continent towards the fim-rifmg, till it budded in one nights time ; 
that they obeyed the facred mandate, and the miracle took place after they arrived to this 
fide of the Miflifippi, on the prefent land they pofiefs. This, they fay, was the fole 
icaufe of their fettling here of fighting fo firmly for their reputed holy land and holy things 
and that they may be buried with their beloved fore-fathers. I have feen other Indians who 
pretend te-jthe like miraculous dire&ion, and I think it plainly to refer to Aaron's rod, which 
was a branch of an almond-tree, and that budded and bloflbmed in one night. 

* Joflaua commanded the Ifraelites the night before they marched, tofanftify themfelves by 
v/aflung their clothes, avoiding all impurities, and abltaining from matrimonial intercourfe. 

Y 2 people, 

164 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

people, while they are at war accompanying the facred ark with the fup 
pofed holy things it contains, 

The French Indians are faid not to have deflowered any of our young women 
they captivated, while at war with us ; and unlefs the black tribe, the French 
Canadian priefts, corrupted their traditions, they would think fuch actions de 
filing, and what mnft bring fatal confequences on their own heads. We have- 
an attefted narrative of an Englifh prifoner, who made his efcape from ths 
Shawanoh Indians, which was printed at Philadelphia, anno 1757, by which 
we were aflured, that even that blood-thirfty villain, Capt. Jacob, did not 
attempt the virtue of his female captives, left (as he told one of them) it 
fliould offend the Indian's God -, though at the fame time his pleafures 
heightened in proportion to the fhrieks and groans of our people of dif 
ferent ages and both fexes, while they were under his tortures. 

Although the Choktah are libidinous, and lofe their cuftoms apace, 
yet I have known them to take feveral female prilbners without offering the 
lead violence to their virtue, till the time of purgation was expired ; then 
fome-of them forced their captives, notwithstanding their prefling entreaties 
and tears. As the aforefaid Shawanoh renegado profefTed himfelf fo obfer- 
vant of this law of purity, fo the other northern nations of Indians, who are 
free from adulteration by their far-diftance from foreigners, do not neglect 
fo great a duty : and it is highly probable, notwithstanding the filence of 
our writers, that as purity was ftrictly obferved by the Hebrews in the tem 
ple, field and wildernefs, the religious rites and cuftoms of the northern 
Indians, differ no farther from thofe of the nations near our fouthern fettle- 
ments than reafon will admit, allowing for their diftant fituation from Peru 
and Mexico, whence they feem to have travelled.. 

When they return home victorious over the enemy, they fing the tri 
umphal fong to YO-HE-WAH, afcribing the victory to him, according to 
a religious cuftom of the Ifraelites, who were commanded always to 
attribute their fuccefs in war to Jehovah, and not to their fwords and 

In the year 1765, when the Chikkafah returned with two French fcalps, 
from the Illinois, (while the Britilh troops were on the Miflifippi, about 
1 70 leagues below the Illinois) as my trading houfe was near the Chikkafah 


triumphal fong for fuccefs. 165 

leader, I had a good opportunity of obferving his conduct, as far as it was, 
expofed to public view. 

Within a day's march of home, he fent a runner a-head with the glad 
tidings and to order his dark winter houfe to be fwept out very clean, for 
fear of pollution. By ancient cuftom, when the out-ftanding party let off 
for war, the women are fo afraid of the power of their holy things, and of pro- 
phaning them, that they fweep the houfe and earth quite clean, place the 
iweepings in a heap behind the door, leaving it there undifturbed, till Opae r 
who carries the ark, orders them by a faithful mefienger to remove it. He 
likewife orders them to carry aut every utenfil which the women had ufed dur 
ing his abfence, for fear of incurring evil by pollution. The party appeared 
next day painted red and black, their heads covered all over with fwan down, 
and a tuft of long white feathers fixt to the crown of their heads. Thus 
they approached, carrying each of the fcalps on a branch of the ever-greea 
pine *, finging the awful death fang, with a folemn (Inking air, and fome- 
times Yo HE WAR-, now and then founding the mrill death Whoo Wboop 
Whoop. When they arrived, the leader went a-head of his company, 
round his winter hot houfe, contrary to the courfe of the fun, finging the 
monofyllable YO, for about the fpace of five fecondson a tenor key ; again, 
HE HE fhort, on a bafs key -, then WAH WAH, gutturally on the treble, 
very mrill, but not fo fhort as the bafs note. In this manner they repeated 
thofe facred notes, YO, HE HE, WAH WAH, three times, while they were 
finiming the circle, a ftrong emblem of the eternity of Him, " who is, was,, 
and is to come," to whom they fung their triumphal fong, afcribing the 
victory over their enemies to his ftrong arm, inftead of their own, accord 
ing to the ufage of the Israelites by divine appointment. The duplication 
of the middle and laft fyllables of the four-lettered efTential name of the 
deity, and the change of the key from their eftablifhed method of invoking 
YO HE WAH, when they are drinking their bitter drink, (the Cuffeena] in their 
temples, where they always fpend a long breath on each of the two firft 

* As the Indians carry their enemies fcalps on fmall branches of ever-green pine, and" 
wave the martial trophies on a pine-branch before YO HE WAH; I cannot help thinking 
that the pine wcs the emblematical tree fo often mentioned in divine writ, by the plural 
name, Shittim ; efpecially as the mountain Cedar, comparatively fpeaking, is low and does- 
not feem to anfwer the description of the infpircd writers ; befides that *")D Chepbcr 
is figuratively applied to the mercy-feat, fignifying, literally, a fcreen, or cover againft iiorms ; 
which was pitched over with the gum of the pine-tree. 


1 66 On tie defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

fyllablcs of that awful divine fong, feenas defigned to prevent a propha- 
n at ion. 

The leader's Httiffii, *' or waiter/' placed a couple of new blocks of wood 
near the war pole, oppofite to the door of the circular hot-houfe, in the 
middle of which the fire-place flood ; and on thefe blocks he refted the fup- 
rpofed facred ark, fo that it and the holy fire faced each other. The party 
were filent a confiderabletime. At length, the chieftain bade them fit down, 
and then enquired whether his houfe was prepared for the folemn oc- 
cafion, according to his order the day before : being anfwered in the affir 
mative, they foon rofe up, founded the death whoop, and walked round 
the war pole ; during which they invoked and fung three times, YO, HE 
HE, WAH WAH, in the manner already defcribed. Then they went with 
their holy things in regular order into the hot-houfe, where they continued, 
.exclufive of the firft broken day, three days and nights apart from the 
-reft of the people, purifying themfelves with warm lotions, and afperfion-s 
of the emblematical button-fnake-root, without any other fubfiftence be 
tween the rifing and .the fetting of the fun. 

During the other part cf the time, the female relations of each of the 
company, after having bathed, anointed, and dreft themfelves in their 
fineft, flood in two rows, one on each fide of the door, facing each 
-other, from the evening till the morning, finging HA HA, HA HE, with a 
ibft mrill voice and a folemn moving air for more than a minute, and then 
: paufed about ten minutes, before they renewed their triumphal fono-. 
While they fung, they gave their legs a fmall motion, by the flrong 
working of their mufcles, without feeming to bend their joints. When 
they had no occafion to retire, they have flood erect in the fame place, a 
long frofly night , and except when finging, obferved a mod profound 
filence the whole time. During that period, they have no intercourfe with 
their hufbands ; and they avoid feveral other fuppofed pollutions, as not 
to eat or touch fait, and the like. 

The leader, once in -two or three ho.urs came out at the head of his com 
pany, and raifing the death whoop, made one circle round the red painted 
war pole, holding up in their right hands the fmall boughs of pine with 
the fcalps fixt to them, finging as above, waving them to and fro, and then 
^returned again. This religious order they flriftly obferved .the whole time 


Their fokwnities after vittory. 167 

they were purifying themfelves, and finging the fong of fafety, and 
to the goodnefs and power of the divine efience. When the time of their 
purification and thankfgiving expired, the men and women went and bathecb 
themfelves feparately, returned in the fame manner, and anointed again, 
according to their ufual cuftom. 

They joined foon after in a folemn proceflion, to fix the fcalps on the 
tops of the houfes of their relations who had been killed without re 
venge of blood. The war chieftain went firil his religious attendant fol 
lowed him ; the warriors next, according to their rifing merit \ and the 
fongftrefles brought up the rear. In this order they went round the leader's 
winter- houfe from the eafl to the nx)rth, the men ftriking up the death 
whoop, and finging the death fong ; and then YO, HE HE, WAH WAH, as 
defcribed ; the women alib warbling HA HA, HA HE, fo that one might 
have faid according to the facred text, " great was the company of the wo 
men who /ung the fong of triumph." * Then they fixed on the top of the 
houfe, a twig of the pine they had brought with them, with a fmall piece 
of one of the fcalps fattened to it : and this order they obferved from 
houfe to houfe, till in their opinion they had appeafed the ghofts of their 
dead. They went and bathed again ; and thus ended their purifica 
tion, and triumphal folemnity only the leader and his religious waiter 
kept apart three days longer, purifying themfelves. I afterward afked> 
the reafon of this they replied they were Ifljtohoollo. This feems to be 
fo plain a copy of the old Jewim cuftoms, I am fatisfied the reader will 
eafily difcern the analogy, without any farther obiervations. 

I cannot however conclude this argument,, without a few remarks concern 
ing the Indian methods of making peace, and of renewing their old friendihip* 
They firft fmoke out of the friend-pipe, and eat together , then they drink of 
the Cuffeena, ufmg fuch invocations as have been mentioned, and proceed. 
to wave their large fans of eagles-tails, concluding with a dance. The 
perfons vifited, appoint half a dozen of their moft acYwe and expert young. 
warriors to perform this religious duty, who have had their own temples 
adorned with the fwan-feather-cap. They paint their bodiss with white- 
clay, and cover their heads with fwan-down , then approaching the chief 

* Laft year I heard the Choktah women, in tbofe towns which lie next to N\v Or 
leans, fing a regular anthem and dirge, in the dufi^ of the eveniog, while their kmfmen 
were gone to war againft the Mufkobge. 

1.6-8 On tie defcent of 'the American Indians from the Je*ws. 

reprefentative of the ftrangers, who by way of honour, and ftrong aflurance 
of friendlhip, is feated on the central white or holy feat, " the beloved cab- 
bin" (which is about nine feet long and feven feet broad), they wave the 
eagles tails backward and forward over his head *. Immediately they be 
gin the folemn fong with an awful air; and prefently they dance in a 
bowing pofture ; then they raife themfelves fo erect, that* their faces 
look partly upwards, waving the eagles tails with their right hand to 
ward heaven, fometimes with a flow, at others with a quick motion ; at 
the fame time they touch their breaft with their fmall callabafh and peb 
bles fattened to a (lick of about a foot long, which they hold in their 
left hand, keeping time with the motion of the eagles tails : during 
the dance,, they repeat the ufual divine notes, YO, &c. and wave the 
eagles tails now and then over the (Granger's head, not moving above 
two yards backward or forward before him. They are fo furprifingly ex 
pert : in their fuppofed religious office, and obferve time fo exactly, with 
their particular geftures and notes, that there is not the lead dilcernible 
difcord. If the Hebrews danced this way, (as there is ftrong presumptive 
proof) they had very fweating work, for every joint, artery, and nerve, 
is ft retched to the higheft pitch of exertion ; and this may account for 
Saul's daughter Michal, .chiding David for falling in with the -common 

The Indians cannot Ihew greater honour to the greateft potentate on 
earth, than to place him in the white feat invoke YO HE WAH, while 

* When they are difaffefted, or intend to declare war, they will not allow any of the party 
againft whom they have hoftile views, to approach the white feat ; as their holy men, and 
holy places, are confidered firmly bound to keep good faith, and givefure refuge. Indeed 
in the year 1750, after having narrowly efcaped with my life from the Cheerake lower towns, 
1 met two worthy gentlemen at the fettlement of Ninety-fix, who were going to them. I ear- 
neftly difluadcd them againft purfuing their journey, but without effect : when they arrived 
at the middle Cheerake towns, the old beloved men and war chieftains invited them and 
twenty of the traders to go in the evening to their town-houfe, to fit on their white beloved 
feat, partake of their feaft, and fmoke together with kindly hearts, according to their old 
friendly cuflom. The gentlemen happily rejected the invitation, and boldly told them they 
were apprifed of their treacherous intentions : they braved a little, to furprife and intimidate 
the Indians, and then mounted, directed their courfe toward the place where a tieacherous 
.smbufcade had been laid for them but they foon filently took another cou.rfe, and pafiing 
through an unfufpefted difficult marfh, and aimoft pathlefs woods, by the dawn of the morning 
they reached the Georgia fide of Savannah river, which was about So miles, where a body of 
<he Mufkohge chanced to be preparing for war againft the treacherous Cheerake. Thefe pro- 
teftcd them from their purfuers, and the gentlemen arrived fafe at Augufta, the upper bar- 
wer and Indian mart of Georgia. 

7 he 

method of making peace, and renewing friendjlnp. 169 

he is drinking the Cufleena, and dance before him with the eagles tails. 
When two chieftains are renewing, or perpetuating friendmip with each 
other, they are treated with the fame ceremonies. And in their circular 
friendly daaces, when they honour their guefts, and pledge themfelves t 
keep good faith with them, they fometimes fing their divine notes with. 
a very awful air, pointing their right hand towards the fky. Some years 
ago, I faw the Kooafahte Indians (two hundred miles up Mobille river) 
perform this rite with much folemnity ; as if invoking the deity by their 
notes and geftures, to enable them to mew good-will to their fellow- 
creatures, and to bear witnefs of their faithful vows and conducl. This 
cuftom is plainly not derived from the old Scythians, or any other part of 
the heathen world. Their forms and ufages when they made peace, or 
pledged faith, and contracted friendfhip with each other, were widely dif 
ferent : but to thofe of the Jews it hath the neareft refemblance. 


The Indian origin and defcent may alfo be in fome rrueafure difcerne& 
by their tafte for, and kind of ORNAMENTS. 

The Ifraelites were fond of wearing beads and other ornaments, everi as 
early as the patriarchal age, and the tafte increafed to fuch a degree that it 
became criminal, and was fharply reprehended by the prophets, particularly 
Ifaiah. The Ifraelitiili women wore rich garters about their legs, and 
againft the rules of modefty, they fhortened their under garments, in or 
der to Ihew how their legs and feet were decorated j Ifaiah, chap. iii. i S. 
" The Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments 
about their feet," which loaded them fo heavy that they could fcarcely walk ; 
and ver. 19, 20, 21. " The chains and the bracelets The ornaments of 
the legs and the ear-rings The rings and nofe jewels." In refemblance 
to thefe cufloms, the Indian females continually wear a beaded firing round 
their legs, made of buffalo- hair, which is a fpecies of coarfe wool ; and 
they reckon it a great ornament, as well as a prefervative againft mif- 
.carriages, hard labour, and other evils. They wear alfo a heap of land 

Z tortoife- 

j 70 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

tortoife-lhells with pebbles or beads in them, fattened to pieces of deer-fkins,. 
which they tie to the outfide of their legs, when they mix with the men in* 
their religious dances. 

The Indian nations are agreed in the cuftom of thus adorning them- 
felves with beads of various fizes and colours fometimes wrought in garters,, 
fames, necklaces, and in firings round their wrifts ; and fo from the crown 
of their heads fometimes to the cartilage of the nofe. And they doat 
on them fo much, as to make them their current money in all payments 
to this day. 

Before we fupplied them with our European beads, they had great quan 
tities of wampum ; (the Buccinum of the ancients) made out of conch- 
fhcll, by rubbing them on hard ftones, and fo they form them according to 
their liking. With thefe they bought and fold at a ftated current rate,, 
without the leaft variation for circumftances either of time or place -, and 
now they will hear nothing patiently of lofs or gain, or allow us to heighten 
the price of our goods, be our reafons ever fo ftrong, or though the exigent 
cies and changes of time may require it. Formerly, four deer-fkins was the 
price of a large conch-mell bead, about the length and thicknefs of a 
man's fore-finger ; which they fixed to the crown of their head, as an high 
ornament fo greatly they valued them. Their beads bear a very near re- 
femblance to ivory, which was highly efleemed by the Hebrews. 

The New-England writers affure us, that the Naraganfat Indians paid to 
the colony of Maflachufetts, two hundred fathoms of wampum, only in 
part of a debt ; and at another payment one-hundred fathoms : which 
mews the Indian cuftom of wearing beads has prevailed far north on this 
continent, and before the firfl fettling of our colonies.. 

According to the oriental cuftom, they wear ear-rings and finger-rings- 
in abundance. Tradition fays, they followed the like cuftom before they, 
became acquainted with the Englifh. 

The men and women in old times ufed fuch coarfe diamonds, as their 
own hilly country produced, when each had a bit of ftone fattened with a 


Their t aft e for ornaments. 17 1 

deer's finew to the tying of their hair, their nofe, ears, and maccafeenes : 
but from the time we {applied them with our European ornaments, they have 
ufed brafs and filver ear-rings, and finger-rings ; the young warriors now 
frequently faften bell-buttons, or pieces of tinkling brafs to their maccafeenes, 
and to the outfide of their boots, inftead of the old turky-cock-fpurs 
which they formerly ufed. Both fexes efteem the above things, as very- 
great ornaments of drefs, and commonly load the parts with each fort, in 
proportion to their ability of purchafing them : it is a common trading rule 
with us, to judge of the value of an Indian's effects, by the weight of his fin 
gers, wrifts, ears, crown of his head, boots, and maccafeenes by the 
quantity of red paint daubed on his face, and by the Ihirt about the collar, 
fhoulders, and back, Ihould he have one. 

Although the fame things are commonly alike ufed or dilufed, by males 
and females ; yet they diftinguim their fexes in as exact a manner 35 
any civilized nation. The women bore fmall holes in the lobe of their ears 
for their rings, but the young heroes cut a hole round almoft the extre 
mity of both their ears, which till healed, they ftretch out with a large tuft of 
buffalo's wool mixt with bear's oil : then they twift as much fmall wire round 
as will keep them extended in that hideous form. This cuftom however 
is wearing off apace. They formerly wore nofe-rings, or jewels, both in thfc 
northern and fouthern regions of America, according to a fimilar cuftom of 
the Jews and eafterns ; and in fome places they flill obferve it. Ac prefent, 
they hang a piece of battered filver or pewter, or a large bead to the 
noftril, like the European method of treating fwine, to prevent them from 
rooting the earth , this, as well as the reft of their cuftoms, is a true pic* 
ture and good copy of their fuppofed early progenitors. 

I have been among the Indians at a drinking match, when feveral of 
their beaus have been humbled as low as death, for the great lofs of 
their big ears. Being fo widely extended, it is as eafy for a perfon to 
take hold of, and pull them off, as to remove a couple of fmall hoops 
were they hung within reach , but if the ear after the pull, flick to their 
head by one end, when they get fober, they pare and few it together 
with a needle and deer's fmews, after fweating him in a ftove. Thus the 
difconfolate warrior recovers his former cheerfulnefs, and hath a lading cau 
tion of not putting his ears a fecond time -in danger with bad company : 

Z 2 however, 

172 Off the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

however, it is not deemed a fcandal to lofe their ears by any accident, be* 
caule they became (lender and brittle, by their virtuous compliance with 
that favourite cuftom of their anceftors. 


The Indian manner of CURING THEIR SICK, is very fimilar to that of 
the Jews. They always invoke YO HE WAH, a confiderable fpace of time 
before they apply any medicines, let the cafe require ever fo fpeedy an ap 
plication. The more defperately ill their patients are, the more earneftly 
they invoke the deity on the fad occafion. Like the Hebrews, they 
firmly believe that difeafes and wounds are occafioned by the holy fire, or 
divine anger, in proportion to fome violation of the old beloved fpeech. 
The Jews had but fmall fkill in phyfic. They called a phyfician " a binder 
of wounds," for he chiefly poured oil into the wounds and bound them 
up. They were no great friends to this kind of learning and fcience ; 
and their Talmud has this proverb, <c the beft phyficians go to hell." 
King Afa was reproved for having applied to phyficians, for his difeafe in 
his feet. The little ufe they made of the art of medicine, efpecially for 
internal maladies ; and their perfuafion that diftempers were either the im 
mediate effects of God's anger, or caufed by evil fpirits, led them to apply 
themfelves to the prophets, or or to diviners, magicians and enchanters. 
Hezekiah's boil was cured by Ifaiah Benhadad king of Syria, and Naaman 
the Syrian applied to the prophet Eliiha, and Ahaziah king of Ifrael fent to 
confult Baal-zebub. The Indians deem the curing their fick or wounded a 
very religious duty , and it is chiefly performed by their fuppofed prophets, 
and magi, becaufe they believe they are infpired with a great portion, of the 
divine fire. On thefe occafions. they fing YO YO, on a low bals key for 
two or three minutes very rapidly j in like manner, HE HE, and WA WA. 
Then they tranfpofe and accent thofe facred notes with great vehemence, 
and fupplicating fervor, rattling all the while a calabam with fmall pebble- 
ftones, in imitation of the old Jewilh rattles, to make a greater found, and 
7 as 

Their manner of curing the Jick. 173 

as it were move the deity to co-operate with their fimple means and 
finifh the cure *. 

When the Indian phyficians vifit their fuppofed irreligious patients, 
they approach them in a bending pofture, with their rattling calabalh, 
preferring that fort to the North-American gourds : and in that bent 
pofture of body, they run two or three times round the fick perfon, 
contrary to the courfe of the fun, invoking God as already expreft. 
Then they invoke the raven, and mimic his croaking voice : Now this 
bird was an ill omen to the ancient heathens, as we may fee by the 
prophet Ifaiah ; fo that common wifdom, or felf-love, would not have 
directed them to fuch a choice, if their traditions had reprefented it as a 
bad fymbol. But they chofe it as an emblem of recovery, probably from 
its indefatigablenefs in flying to and fro when fent out of the ark, till he 

Formerly, an old Nachee warrior who was blind of one eye, and very dim-fighted in 
the other, having heard of the furprifing (kill of the European oculifts, fancied I could cure 
him. He frequently importuned me to perform that friendly office, which I as often 
declined. But he imagining all my excufes were the effea of modefty and caution, was the 
more importunate, and would take no denial. I was at laft obliged to commence Indian^ 
oculiir. I had juft drank a glafs of rum when he came to undergo the operation at thenime 
appointed ; he obferving my glafs, faid, it was beft to defer it till the next day. I told him, 
I drank fo on purpofe, for as the white people's phyfic and beloved fongs were quite 
different from what the red people applied and fung,. it was ufual with our beft phyficians 
to drink a little, to heighten their. fpirits> and enable them to fing with a ftrong voice, and 
likewife to- give their patients a little, to make their hearts weigh even within them ; he, 
confented, and lay down as if he was dead, according to their ufual cuftom. After a good 
many wild ceremonies, I fung up Sbeela no. Gu/ra, " will you drink wine:" Then I drank 
to my patient, which on my raifmg him up, he accepted: I gave him feveral drinks of grogg, 
both to divert myfelf, and purify the obtruding fuppofed finner. At laft, I applied my ma- 
teria medica, blowing a quill full of fine burnt allum and roman vitriol into his eye. Juft as 
I was ready to- repeat it, he bounded up out of his feemingly dead ftate, jumped about, and 
faid, my fongs and phyfic were not good. When I could be heard, I told him the Englift 
beloved fongs and phyfic were much ftronger than thofe of the red people, and that when, 
they did not immediately produce fuch an effeft as he found, it was a fu/e fign they were 
good for nothing, but as they were taking place, he would foon be .well. He acquiefced 
becaufe of the foporific dofe I gave him. But ever after, he reckoned he had a very narrow, 
chance of having his eye burnt out by Leak IJbtoboollo, for drinking Ooka Hcome, " the- 
bitter waters," and prefuming to get cured by an impure accurfed nothing, who lied, drank, 
ate hog's flefh, and fung Tarooa Qotyroo'ito,. " the devil's tune," or the fong of the evil 


1 74 On the defcent isf the American Indians from the Jews. 

found dry ground to reft on *. They alfo place a bafon of cold water with , 
fome pebbles in it on the ground, near the patient, then they invoke the 
fifh, becaufe of its cold element, to cool the heat of the fever. Again, 
they invoke the eagle, (Ooole) they folicit him as he foars in the heavens, 
to bring down refrefhing .things for their fick, and not to delay them, as 
he can dart down upon the wing, quick as a flam of lightning. They are 
fo tedious on this fubject, that it would be a tafk to repeat it : however, 
it may be needful to obferve, that they chufe the eagle becaufe of its fup- 
pofed communicative virtues ; and that it is according to its Indian name, 
a cherubimical emblem, and the king of birds, of prodigious ftrength, 
fwiftnefs of wing, majeftic ftature, and loving its young ones fo tenderly, 
as ta carry them on its back, and teach them to fly. 

Jofephus tells us, that Solomon had a divine power conferred upon him, 
of driving evil fpirits out of poflefled perfons that he invented feveral 
incantations by which difeafes were cured -and left behind him fuch a 
lure method of exorcifing, as the dsemons never returned again : and he 
aflures us, the Jews followed the like cuftom as late as his own time , 
and that he faw fuch a cure performed by one Eleazar. They likewife ima 
gined, that the liver of a fim would keep away evil fpirits, as one of the 
apocryphal writers acquaints us -f. 


* The ancients drew bad prefages from th fituation, and croaking of ravens and crows. 
They looked on that place as unhappy, where either of them had croaked in the morning. 
Hefiod forbids to leave a houfe unfinifhed, left a crow fhould chance to come and croak when 
fitting on it. And moft of the illiterate peafants in Europe are tinclured with the like fuper- 
ftition, pretending to draw ill omens from its voice. 

t They imagined incenfe alfo to be a fure means to banifli the devil j though afafoetida, 
or the devil's dung, might have been much better. On Cant. iv. 6. " I will get me 
to the hill of incenfe," the Chaldee paraphraft fays, that, while the houfe of Ifrael kept 
the art of their holy fore-fathers, both the morning and mid-day evil fpirits fled away, 
becaufe the <3ivine glory dwelt in the fanftuary, which was built on Mount Moriah ; 
and that all the devils fled when they fmelled the effluvia of the fine incenfe that was 
there. They likewife believed that herbs and roots had a power to expel dxmons. And 
Jofephus tells us, that the root Sara, immediately drives out the devil. I fuppofe it had 
fuch a phyfical power againft fevers and agues, as the jefuit's bark. 

The church of Rome, in order to have powerful holy things, as well as tie Jews, applies 
{alt, fpittle, holy-water, and confecrated oil, to expel the devils from the credulous of their 

manner of curing the Jick. 

In the Summer-feafon of the year 1746, I chanced to fee the Indians 
playing at a houfe of the former MifTifippi-Nachee, on one of their old 
facred mufical inftruments. It pretty much refembled the Negroe-Banger 
in fhape, but far exceeded it in dimenfions ; for it was about five feet long, 
and a foot wide on the head-part of the board, with eight firings made 
out of the fmews of a large buffalo. But they were fo unfkilful in acting 
the part of the Lyrick, that the Loache, or prophet who held the inftru- 
ment between his feet, and along fide of his chin, took one end of the 
bow, whilft a lufty fellow held the other j by fweating labour they fcraped 
out fuch harfh jarring founds, as might have been reafonably expected by 
a foft ear, to have been fufficient to drive out the devil if he lay any 
where hid in the houfe. When I afterward afked him the name, and the 
reafon of fuch a ftrange method of diverfion, he told me the dance was 
called Keetla IJbio Hoollo, " a dance to, or before, the great holy one "' 
that it kept off evil fpirits, witches, and wizards, from the red people ; 
and enabled them to ordain elderly men to officiate in holy things, as the 
exigency of the times required. 

He who danced to it, kept his place and pofture, in a very exact man 
ner, without the leaft perceivable variation : yet by the prodigious working 
of his mufcles and nerves, he in about half an hour, foamed in a very 
extraordinary manner, and difcontinued it proportionally, till he recovered 
himfelf. This furprifmg cuflom I have mentioned here, becaufe it was 
ufual among the Hebrews, for their prophets to become furious, and as it 
were befide themfelves, when they were about to prophefy. Thus with 
regard to Saul, it feems that he became furious, and tortured his body by 
violent geftures : and when Elima fent one of the children of the pro 
phets to anoint Jehu, one laid to him, wherefore cometh this mad fel 
low ? The Chaldee paraphraft, on i Sam. xviii. 10. concerning Saul's 
prophefy ing, paraphrafes it, csepit furire, " he began to grow mad, &c." 

When the Eaft-Indian Fakirs are giving out their pretended prophe 
cies, they chufe drums and trumpets, that by fuch confuted ftriking founds, 

own perfuafion ; and the oil alone is ufed as a viaticum, on account of its lubricous quality, 
to make them flippery, and thereby prevent the devil from laying hold,- and pulling them 
down when they afcend upward. They reckon that obfervance a moft religious duty, and 
an infallible prefervative againft the legions of evil fpirits who watch in the aerial- regions 3 
and alfo necellary to gain celeftial admiflion for believers. 

7 their 

176 On tie defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

their fenfes may be lulled afleep or unfettled, which might otherwifc 
render them uncapable of receiving the fuppofed divine infpiration. And 
they endeavour to become thus pofieft before crowds of people with a 
furious rage, by many frantic and violent motions of body, and changes of 
pofture, till they have raifed it to the higheft pitch they are capable of, 
and then fall on the ground altnoft breathlefs -, when they recover them- 
felves a little, they give out their prophecies, which are deemed ora 

Laftantius and others tell us, that the Sibyls were pofieft of the 
like fury , and moft part of the ancients believed they ought to become 
furious, the members of the body to make, and the hairs of their head to 
Hand an end before they could be divinely infpired : which feems plainly to 
Ihew, that though the ancient heathens mimicked a great deal of the Mo- 
iaic law,' yet theirs had but a faint glance on the Hebrew manner of 
confuhing Yohewah ; whereas the Indian Americans invoke the true God, 
by his favourite eJSential name, in a bowing pofture, on every material 
occafion, whether civil, martial, or religious, contrary to the ufage of all 
the 'Old heathen world, 

In the year 17 65/311 old phyfician, or prophet, almoft drunk with fpiritu- 
<ous liquors, came to pay me a friendly vifit : his fituation made him more 
communicative than he would have been if quite fober. When he came to 
the door, he bowed himfelf half bent, with his arms extended north and 
ibuth, continuing fo perhaps for the fpace of a minute. Then raifing him 
felf erect, with his arms in the fame pofition, he looked in a wild frightful 
manner, from the fouth-weil toward the north, and fung on a low bafs key 
To To To To, alrnoil a minute, then He He He He, for perhaps the fame 
fpace of time, and JVa Wa Wa Wa^ in like manner ; and then tran- 
pofed, and accented thofe facred notes feveral different ways, in a mod 
rapid guttural manner. Now and then he looked upwards, with his head 
confiderably bent backward j his fong continued about a quarter of an 
.hour. As my door which was then open flood eaft, his face of courfe 
looked toward the weft j but whether the natives thus ufually invoke the 
deity, I cannot determine , yet as all their winter houfes have their doors 
toward the eaft, had he ufed the like folemn invocations there, his face 
.would have confequently looked the fame way, contrary to the ufage of 


tteir Burial of tie Heael. 177 

rhe heathens. After his fong, he ftepped in : I faluted him, faying, " Are you 
come my beloved old friend ?'" he replied, jirabre-O. " I am come in the 
name of OEA." I told him, I was glad to fee, that in this mad age, 
he (till retained the old Chikkafah virtues. He faid, that as he came 
with a glad heart to fee me his old friend, he imagined he could not do 
me a more kind fervice, than to fecure my houfe from the power of the 
evil fpirits of the north, fouth, and weft, and, from witches, and wiz 
ards, who go about in dark nights, in the fhape of bears, hogs, and 
wolves, to fpoil people : '* the very month before, added he, we killed 
an old witch, for having ufed deftructive charms." Becaufe a child was 
fuddenly taken ill, and died, on the phyfidan's falfe evidence, the fa 
ther went to the poor helplefs old woman who was fitting innocent, and 
unfufpedling, and funk his tomohawk into her head, without the leaft fear 
cf being called to an account. They call witches and wizards, IJhtabe* 
and Hoollabe* " man-killers," and " fpoilers of things facred." My pro 
phetic friend defired me to think myfelf fecure from thofe dangerous enemies 
of darknefs, for (faid he) Tarooa l/htohooUo-Antarooare, " I have fung the fong 
of the great holy one." The Indians are fo tenacious of concealing their 
religious myfleries, that I never before obferved fuch an invocation on the 
like occafion adjuring evil fpirits, witches, &c. by the awful name of 


The Hebrews have at all times been very careful in the BURIAL of their 
dead to be deprived of it was confidered as one of the greateft of evils. 
They made it a point of duty to perform the funeral obfequies of their 
friends often embalmed the dead bodies of thofe who were rich, and even 
buried treafure in the tombs with their dead. Jofephus tells us, that in 
king David's fepulchre, was buried fuch a prodigious quantity of treafures, 
that Hyrcanus the Maccabean, took three thoufand talents out of it, about 
thirteen hundred years after, to get rid of Antiochus then befieging Jeru- 
falem. And their people of diftinction, we are told, followed the like cuf- 
tom of burying gold and filver with the dead. Thus it was an univerfal 
cuftom with the ancient Peruvians, when the owner died to bury his 

A a effects 

178 On the defient of the American Indians from the Jews* 

with him, which the avaricious Spaniards perceiving, they robbed. 
thefe ftore-houfes of the dead of an immenfe quantity of treafures. The 
motkrn Indians bury all their moveable riches, according to the cuftom o 
the ancient Peruvians and Mexicans, infomuch, that the grave is heir of all. 

Except the Cheerake, only one inftance of deviation, from this ancient 
and general Indian cuftom occurs to me: which was that of Malahche^ the 
late fomous chieftain of the Kowwetah head war-town of the lower part of 
the Mufkohge country, who bequeathed all he pofleffed to his real, and 
adopted relations, being fenfible they would be much more ufeful to his 
living friends, than to hitnfdf during his long fleep : he difplayed a genius 
far fuperior to the crowd. 

The Cheerake of late years, by the reiterated perfuafion of the traders,, 
have entirely left off the cuftom of burying effects with the dead body -^ 
the neareft of blood inherits them. They, and feveral other of our Indian 
nations, ufed formerly to moot all the live flock that belonged to the de- 
ceafed, foon after the interment of the corpfe -, not according to the Pa 
gan cuftom of the funeral piles, on which they burned feveral of the 
living, that they might accompany and wait on the dead, but from a 
narrow-hearted avaricious principle, derived from their Hebrew proge 


Notwithftanding the North- American Indians, like the South-Ameri 
cans, inter the whole riches of the decealed with him, and fo make his 
corpfe and the grave heirs of all, they never give them the lead difturbance ;. 
even a blood-thirfty enemy will not defpoil nor difturb the dead. The grave 
proves an afylum, and a fure place of reft to the fleeping perfon, till at certain time, according to their opinion, he rifcs- again to inherit 
his favourite place, unlefs the covetous, or curious hand of fome foreigner, 
fhould break through his facred bounds. This cuftom of burying the dead 
pcrfon's treafures with him, has entirely fwallowed up their medals, and 
other monuments of antiquity, without any. probability o recovering 


* In the Tuccabatches on the Tallapoofe river, thirty miles above the Allabahamah garri- 
fon, axe two brazen tables, and five of copper. They efteem them fo facred as to keep 


'*heir burial of the dead. 179 

As the Hebrews carefully buried their dead, To on any accident, they 
gathered their bones and laid them in the tombs of their fore-fathers : 
Thus, all the numerous nations of Indians perform the like friendly office to 
every deceafed perfon of their refpective tribe ; infomuch, that thofe who 

them conflantly in their holy of holies, without touching them in the leaft, only in the time 
of their compounded firft-fruit-offering, and annual expiation of fins ; at which feafon, their 
magus carries one under his arm, a-head of the people, dancing round the facred arbour; 
next to him their head-warrior carries another ; and thofe warriors who chufe it, carry the 
reft after the manner of the high-prieft ; all the others carry white canes with fwan- 
feathers at the top. Hearing accidentally of thefe important monuments of antiquity, and en 
quiring pretty much about them, I was certified of th'e truth of the report by four of the 
fouthern traders, at the moft eminent Indian- trading houfe of all Englifh America. One of 
the gentlemen informed me, that at my requeft he endeavoured to get a liberty of viewing 
the aforefaid tables, but it could not poffibly be obtained, only in the time of the yearly 
grand facrifice, for fear of polluting their holy things, at which time gentlemen of curiofity 
may fee them. Old Bracket -, an Indian of perhaps 100 years old, lives in that old beloved 
town, who gave the following defcription of them : 

Old Bracket's account of the/i;* copper and two Irafs plates under the beloved cabbin ia 


The mape of the five copper plates ; one is a foot .and 
half long and feven inches wide, the other four are fhorter 
x^/V, and narrower. 

/~^\ The fliape of the two brafs plates, about a foot and a 
The largeil (lamped .has (^ ^ ^ ^^ 

He faid he was told by his forefathers that thofe plates were given to them by the man 
we call God ; that there had been many more of- other mapes, fome as long as he could 
ftretch with both his arms, and fome had writing upon them which were buried with parti 
cular men ; and that they had inftruftions given with them, viz. they muft only be handled 
by particular people, and thofe failing ; and no unclean 'woman muft be fuffered to come 
near them or the place where they are depofited. He faid, none but this town's people 
had any fuch plates given them, and that they were a different people from the Creeks. 
He only remembered three more, which were buried with three of his family, and he was 
the only man of the family now left. He faid, there were two copper plates under the 
king's cabbin, which had lain there from the firft fettling of the town 

This account was taken in the Tuccabatchey-fquare, zjth July, 1759, 

A a 2 lofc 

i-8b On the defcent of the American Indians from the y 

lofe their people at war, if they have not corrupted their primitive cuftoms, 
are fo obfervant of this kindred duty, as to appropriate fome time to col 
lect the bones of their relations; which they call bone gathering^ or " ga 
thering the bones to their kindred," according to the Hebrew idiom*.. 
The Cheerake* by reafon of their great intercourfe with foreigners, have 
dropped that friendly office : and as they feem to be more intelligent than 
the reft of our Englifh-American Indians in their religious rites, and cere 
monial obfervances, fo I believe, the fear of pollution has likewife contri 
buted to obliterate that ancient kindred duty. However, they ieparate 
thofe of their people who die at home, from others of a different nation ; 
and every particular tribe indeed of each nation bears an intenfe love to. 
itfelf, and divides every one of its people from the reft, both while living,, 
and after they are dead. 

When any of them die at a diftance, if the company be not driven: 
and purfued by the enemy, they place the corpfe on a fcaffold, covered, 
with notched logs to fecure it from being torn by wild beafts, or fowls 
of prey: when they imagine the flefh is confumed, and the bones are 
thoroughly dried, they return to the place, bring them home, and inter 
them in a very folemn manner. They will not aflbciate with us, when we 
are burying any of our people, who die in their land : and they are un 
willing we fhould join with them while they, are performing this kindred 
duty to theirs. Upon which account, though I have lived among them 
in the raging time of the fmall pox, even of the confluent fort, I never favv. 
but one buried, who was a great favourite of the Englifh, and chieftain of, 
Ooeafa, as formerly defcribed. , 

The Indians ufe the fame ceremonies to the bones of their dead, as 
if they were covered with their former fkin, flefh, and ligaments. It is but 
a few days fince I faw fome return with the bones of nine of their people, 
who had been two months before killed by the enemy. They were tied in 
white deer-fkins, feparately ; and when carried by the door of one of the- 
houfes of their family, they were -laid down oppofite to it, till the female 

* With the Hebrews-, " to gather," ufually fignified to die. Gen. xlix. 33. Jacob is faid 
to be gathered to his people. Pfal. xxvi. 9. Gather not my foal with finners, And Numb. 
xx, 24. Aaron (hall be gathered to his people. 


burial of tfie deadi i S r 

relations convened, with flowing hair, and wept over them about half an: 
hour. Then they carried them home to their friendly magazines of mor 
tality, wept over them again, and then buried them with the ufual folem-- 
nities ; putting their valuable effects, and as I am informed, other con 
venient things in along with them, to be of fervice to them in the next ftate.. 
The chieftain carried twelve fhort flicks tied together, in the form of a- 
quadrangle , fo that each fquare confifted of three. The flicks were only 
peeled, without any paintings ; but there were fwans feathers tied to each' 
corner, and as they called that frame, Tereekpe tobeb, " a white circle," and 
placed it over the door, while the women were weeping over the bones,, 
perhaps it was originally defigned to reprefent the holy fire, light, and fpi- 
rit, who formerly prefided over the four principal itandards of the twelve' 
tribes of Ifrael.. 

When any of their people die at home, they warn and anoint the corpfe, : 
and foon bring it out of doors for fear of pollution ; then they place it oppo- 
fite to the door, on the fkins of wild beafts, in a fitting poflure,-as look 
ing into the door of the winter houfe, weft ward, fufficiently fupported 
with all his moveable goods; after a fhort elogium, and fpace of mourn 
ing, they carry him three times around the houfe in which he is to 
be interred, ftoping half a minute each time, at the place where they began 
the circle, while the religious man of the deceafed perfon's family, who 
goes before the.hearfe, fays each time, Tab 9 fhort with a bafs voice, and 
then invokes on a tenor key, To, which at the fame time is likewife fung. 
by all the proceflion, as long as one breath allows. Again, he flrikes up,v 
on a Iharp treble key, the fceminine note, //<?, which in like manner, is 
taken up and continued by the reft: then all cf them fuddenly ftrike off. 
the folemn chorus, and facred invocation, by faying, on a low key, Wab\\ 
which conftitute the divine eflfential name, Tohewah. This is the method, 
in which they performed the funeral rites of the chieftain before referred to; 
during which time, a great many of the traders were prefent, as our company 
was agreeable at the interment of our declared patron and friend. It feems 
as if they buried him in the name of the divine cflence, and directed their 
plaintive religious notes to the author, of life and death, in hopes of a 
refurredion of the body , which hope engaged the Hebrews to fti'e their 
burying places, " the houfe of the living." 


1 8 2 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews* 

When they celebrated thefe funeral rites of the above chieftain, they 
laid the corpfe in his tomb, in a fitting pofture, with his face towards 
the eaft, his head anointed with bear's oil, and his face painted red, but not 
ftreaked with black, becaufe that is a conftant emblem of war and death ; 
he was dreft in his fined apparel, having his gun and pouch, and trufty 
hiccory bow, with a young panther's fkin, full of arrows, along fiJe of 
him, and every other ufeful thing he had been pofiefied of, that when 
he rifes again, they may ferve him in that tracl: of land which pleafed 
him beft before he went to take his long fleep. His tomb was firm 
and clean in-fide. They covered it with thick logs, fo as to -bear feverai 
tiers of cyprefs-bark, and fuch a quantity of clay as would confine the pu 
trid fmell, and be on a level with the reft of the floor. They often fleep 
over thofe toaVbs-, which,- with the loud wailing of the women at the dufk 
ot the evening, and dawn of the day, on benches clofe by the tombs, muft 
awake the memory of their relations very often : and if they were killed 
by an enemy, it helps to irritate and fet on fuch revengeful tempers to re 
taliate blood for blood. 

The Egyptians either embalmed, or buried, their dead : other heathen 
nations imagined that fire purified the body ; they burned therefore the bo 
dies of their dead, and put their afhes into fmall urns, which they religioufly 
kept by them, as facred relicks. The Tartars called Kyrgejfi, near the 
frozen fea, formerly ufed to hang their dead relations and friends upon 
trees, to be eaten by ravenous birds to purify them. But the Americans 
feem evidently to have derived their copy from the Ifraelites, as to the 
place where they bury their dead, and the method of their funeral cere 
monies, as well as the pcrfons with whom they are buried, and the great 
expences they are at in their burials. The Hebrews buried near the city 
of Jerufalem, by the brook Kedron ; and they frequently hewed their tombs 
out of rocks, or buried their dead oppofite to their doors, implying a filcnt 
leflbn of friendship, and a pointing caution to live well. They buried all 
of one family together j to which cuftom David alludes, when he fays, 
" gather me not with the wicked :" and Sophronius faid with regard to 
the like form, " noli me tangere, haeretice, neque vivum nee mortnum." But 
they buried ftrangers apart by themfelves, and named the place, Kebhare 
Galeya, " the burying place of ftrangers." And thefe rude Americans are 
ib ftiongly partial to the fame cuftom, that they imagine if any of us 


ffieir manner of embalming. 1 83: 

were buried in the domeftic tombs of their kindred, without being adopted,, 
it would be very criminal in them to allow it , and that our fpirits would 
haunt the eaves of their houfes at night, and caufe feveral misfortunes to 
their family. 

In refemblance to the Hebrew cuftom of embalming their dead, the Chok> 
tah treat the corpfe juft as the religious Levite did his beloved concubine, 
who was abufed by the Benjamites ; for" having placed the dead on a 
high fcaffbld flockaded round, at the diftance of twelve yards from his 
houfe oppofite to the door, the whole family convene there at the beginning 
of the fourth moon after the interment, to lament and feail together : after 
wailing a while on the mourning benches, which ftand on the eaft fide of the 
quadrangular tomb, they raife and bring out the corpfe, and while thefeaft is 
getting ready, a perfon whofe office it is, and properly called the lone --picker, 
dHTecls it, as if it was intended for the ihambles in the time of a great fa 
mine, with his fharp-pointed, bloody knife. He continues bufily employed 
in his reputed iacred office, till he has finimed the talk, and fcraped all 
the flefh off the bones ; which may juftly be called the Choktah method of 
enbalming their dead. Then, they carefully place the bones in a kind of 
fmall chefl, in their natural order, that they may with eafe and certainty be 
fome time afterward reunited, and proceed to ftrike up a fong of lamen 
tation, with various wailing tunes and notes : afterwards, they join as cheer 
fully in the funeral feafl, as if their kinfman was only taking his ufual 
fleep. Having regaled themfelves with a plentiful variety, they go along 
with thofe beloved relicks of their dead, in folemn procefllon, lamenting 
with doleful notes, till they arrive at the bone-houfe, which ftands in a 
folitary place, apart from the town: then they proceed around it, much 
after the manner of thofe who performed the oblequies of the Chikka- 
fah chieftain, already defcribed, and there depofit their kinfman's bones 
to lie along fide of his kindred-bones, till in due time they are revived 
by IJhtohootto Aba, that he may repoffefs his favourite place. 

Thofe bone-houfes are fcaffolds raifed on durable pitch-pine forked pofts, 

in the form of a houfe covered a-top, but. open at both ends. I favv 

three of them* in one of their towns, pretty near each other the place 

feemed to be unfrequented j each houfe contained the bones of one tribe, 

3 feparatelyy 

184 O/z the dtfient of the American Indians from tie Jew^ 

Separately, with the hieoglyphical figures of the family on each of the old- 
fhaped arks : they reckon it irreligious to mix the bones of a relation with 
thofe of a ftranger, as bone of bone, and flefh of the fame flefh, mould 
be always joined together , and much lefs will they thruft the body of 
their beloved kinfman into the abominable tomb of a hafeful enemy. I 
oblerved a ladder fixed in the ground, oppofite to the middle of the broad- 
fide of each of thofe dormitories of the dead, which was made out of a 
broad board, and flood confiderably bent over the facred repofitory, with 
the fteps on the infide. On the top was the carved image of a dove, 
with its wings ftretched out, and its head inclining down, as if ear- 
neftly viewing or watching over the bones of the dead : and from the top 
of the ladder to almoft the furface of the earth, there hung a chain of 
grape-vines twifted together, in circular links, and the fame likewife at 
their domeftic tombs. Now the dove after the deluge, became the emblem 
of R&wah^ the holy fpirit, and in procefs of time was deified by the 
heathen world, inftead of the divine perfon it typified rH^ vine was like 
wife a fymbol of fruitfulnefs, both in the amnm. a > orld- 

To perpetuate the memory of any remarkable warriors killed in the 
woods, I muft here obferve, that every Indian traveller as he pafies that way 
throws a ftone on the place, according as he likes or diflikes the occafion, 
or manner of the death of the deceafed. 

In the woods we often fee innumerable heaps of fmall ftones in thofe 
places, where according to tradition fome of their diftinguifhed people were 
cither killed, or buried, till the bones could be gathered : there they add 
Pelion to Offa, dill increafing each heap, as a lading monument, and ho 
nour to them, and an incentive to great actions. 

Mercury was a favourite god with the heathens, and had various em 
ployments , one of which was to be god of the roads, to direct travel 
lers aright from which the ancient Romans derived their Dii Compitaks, 
or Dei Viahs, which they likewife placed at the meeting of roads, and in 
the high ways, and efteemed them the patrons and protectors of travel 
lers. The early heathens placed great heaps of ftones at the dividing of 
3 the 

*fbeir raifing heaps of Jlones over their dead. 185 

the roads, and confecrated thofe heaps to him by undion*, and other 
religious ceremonies. And in honour to him, travellers threw a (tone t 
them, and thus exceedingly increafed their bulk : this might occafion Sor 
lomon to compare the giving honour to a fool, to throwing a (lone into a 
heap, as each were alike infeniible of the obligation ; and to caufe the Jewifh 
writers to call this cuftom a piece of idolatrous worfhip. But the In 
dians place thofe heaps of ftones where there are no dividings of the roads, 
nor the leafc trace of any road -f. And they then obferve no kind of re 
ligious ceremony, but raife thofe heaps merely to do honour to their dead, 
and incite the living to the purfuit of virtue. Upon which account, it feems 
to be derived from the ancient Jewifli cuftom of increafing Abfalom's 
tomb ; for the laft things are eafieft retained, becaufe people repeat them 
ofteneft, and imitate them moft. 

* They rubbed the principal ftone of each of thofe heaps all over with oil, as a facrifice of 
libation ; by which means they often became black, and flippery ; as Arnobius relates 
of the idols of his time; Lubricatum lapidem, et ex tjlivi unguine fordidatam, tancjuam 
ineflet vis prefens, adulabar. Arnob. Ad-verf. Gent. 

f Laban and Jacob raifed a heap of ftones, as a lading monument of their friendly cove 
nant. And Jacob called the heap Gdleed, " the heap of witnefs." Gen. xxxi. 47. 

Though the Cheerake do not sow colled the bones of their .dead, yet they continue to 
raife and multiply heaps of ftones, as monuments for their dead ; this the Engliih army remem 
bers well, for in the year 1760, having marched about two miles along a wood-land 
path, beyond a hill where they had feen a couple of thefe reputed tombs, at the war- 
woman's creek, they received fo {harp a defeat by the Cheerake, that another fuch muft have 
inevitably ruined the whole army. 

Marry of thofe heaps are to be feen, in all parts of the confinent of North- America .: 
where ftones could not be had, they raifed large hillocks or mounds of earth, wherein they 
carefully depofited the bones of their dead, which were placed either in earthen vefiels, or 
in afimple kind of arks, or chefts. Although the Mohawk Indians may be reafonably ex 
pected to have loft their primitive cuftoms, by reafon of their great intercourfe with foreign 
ers, yet I was told by a gentleman of distinguished character, that they obferve the aforefaid 
Sepulchral cnftom to this day, infomuch, that when they are performing that Jdndred- duly, 
they cry out, Mahoom Taguyo Kameneb, " Grandfather, I cover you." 



1 86 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 


The Jewifii records tell us, that their women MOURNED for the lofs of 
their deceafed huibands, and were reckoned vile, by the civil law, if .they 
married in the fpace, at leaft, of ten months after their death. In refem- 
blance to that Cuftom, all the Indian widows, by an eftablifhed Uriel: penal 
law, mourn for the lofs of their deceafed hufbands , and among fome tribes 
for the fpace of three or four years. But the Eaft-India Pagans forced 
the widow, to fit on a pile of wood,, and hold the body of her hufband 
on her knees, to be confumed together in the flames. 

The Mufkohge widows are obliged to live a chafte fmgle life, for the tedi 
ous fpace of four years , and the Chikkafah women, for the term of three, 
at the rifque of the law of adultery being executed againft the recufants. 
Every evening, and at the very dawn of day, for the firft year of her 
widowhood, me is obliged through the fear of mame to lament her lofs, in 
very intenfe audible ftrains. As Tab ah fignifies weeping, lamenting, mourn 
ing, or Ah God ; and as the widows, and others, in their grief bewail and 
cry To He (fa) Wah^ Tohetaweh ; Tohetaha Tohetahe, the origin is fuffici- 
ently clear. For the Hebrews reckoned it fo great an evil to die unla- 
mented, like Jehoiakim, Jer. xxii. 18. " who had none to fay, Ah, my 
brother ! Ah, my fifter ! Ah, my Lord ! Ah, his glory !" that it is one 
of the four judgments they pray againft, and it is called the burial of an 
afs, "With them, burying fignified lamenting, and fo the Indian widows 
direct their mournful cries to the author of life and death, infert a plural 
note in the facred name, and again tranfpofe the latter, through an inva 
riable religious principle, to prevent a prophanation. 

Their law compels the widow, through the long term of her weeds, 

to refrain all public company and diverfions, at th6 penalty of an adul- 

3 terefs j 

The women's time and manntr of mourning for their htijlands. 187 

terefs ; and likewife to go with flowing hair, without the privilege of oil to 
anoint it. The neareft kinfmen of the dcceafed hufband, keep a very 
watchful eye over her conduct, in this refpect. The place of interment is 
alfo calculated to wake the widow's grief, for he is intombed in the houfe 
under her bed. And if he was a war-leader, fhe is obliged for the firft 
moon, to fit in the day-time under his mourning war-pole *, which is decked 
with all his martial trophies, and muft be heard to cry with bewailing 
notes. But none of them are fond of that month's fuppofed religious duty, 
it chills, or fweats, and waftes them fo exceedingly ; for they are allowed 
no made, or flicker. This fharp rigid cuftom excites the women to 
honour the marriage-ftate, and keeps them obliging to their hufbands, by 
anticipating the vifible fharp difficulties which they muft undergo for fo 
great a lofs. The three or four years monaitic life, which (he lives after 
his death, makes it her intereft to ftrive by every means, to keep in his 
lamp of life, be it ever fo dull and worthlefs ; if fhe is able to fhed tears 
on fuch an occafion, they often proceed from felf-love. We can generally 
diflinguifh between the widow's natural mourning *voice, and her tuneful 
laboured ftrain. She doth not fo much bewail his death, as her own re- 
clufe life, and hateful ftate of celibacy , which to many of them, is as 
uneligible, as it was to the Hebrew ladies, who preferred death before the 
unmarried ftate, and reckoned their virginity a bewailable condition, like 
the ftate of the dead. 

The Choktah Indians hire mourners to magnify the merit an$l lofs of 
their dead, and if their tears cannot be feen to flow, their fhrill voices will 
be heard to cry, which anfwers the folemn chorus a great deal better f. 
However, they are no way churlifh of their tears, for I have feen them, on 
the occafion, pour them out, like fountains of water : but after having 

* The war-pole is a fmall peeled tree painted red, the top and boughs cut off fhort : it is 
fixt in the ground oppofite to his door, and all his implements of war, are hung on the fhort 
boughs of it, till they rot. 

f Jer. ix. 17. 19. Thus faith the Lord of hofts : confider ye, and call for the mourning- 
women, that they may come ; and fend for cunning women, that they may .come. For a 
voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, how are we fpoiled ? we are greatly confounded, be- 
caufe we have forfaken the land, becaufe our dwellings have caft us out, 

B b 2 thus 

i88 fin the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

tnus tired themfelves, they might with equal propriety have afked by- 
ftanders in the manner of the native Irifh, Ara ci fuar bafs " And who is 
dead ?" 

They formerly dreffcd their heads with black mofs on thofe folemn dfe^* 
lions i and the ground adjacent to the place of interment, they now beat with 
}aurel-bumes, the women having their hair dimevded : the firft of which 
c attorns feems to be derived from the Hebrew cuftom of wearing fack- 
clothat their funeral folemnities, and on other occafions, when they afflifted 
their fowls before God to which divine writ pften alludes, in defcribing- 
the blacknefs of the Ikies : and the laurel being an ever-green, is a lively 
emblem of the eternity of the human foul, and the pleafant ftate it enters. 
into after death, according to antiquity. They beat it on the ground, to 
exprefs their fharp pungent grief; and, perhaps, to imitate the Hebrew 
trumpeters for the dead, in order to make as ftriking a found as they po 
fibly can on fo doleful an occanon. 

Though the Hebrews had no pofitive precept that obliged the widow to 
mourn the death of her hufband, or to continue her widowhood, for any> 
time ; yet the gravity of their tempers, and their fcrupulous nicety of ths 
law of purity, introduced the obfervance of thofe modeft and religious 
cuftoms, as firmly under the penalty of fhame, as if they bore the fanclioi* 
of law -f-. In imitation of them, the Indians have copied fo exactly, as 
to compel the widow to act the part of the difconfolate dove, for the 
irreparable loft of her mate. Very different is the cuftom of other na-* 
tions : the Africans, when any of their head-men die, kill all their 
flaves, their friends that were deareft to them, and all their wives whom 
they loved beft, that they may accompany and ferve them, in the other 
world, which is a moft diabolical Ammonitifh facrifice of human blood. 
The Eaft-India widows may refufe to be burned oa their hufbands funeral 
piles, with impunity, if they become proftitutes, or public women to fing 
and dance at marriages, or on other occafions of rejoicing. How fuperior, 

t Theodofius tells us, Lib. i. Legum de fecundis nuptiis, that women were infamous 
by the civil law, who married a fecond time before a yeaj> or at leaft ten months were 


The furvhing brother ralfes feed to the deceafed. 

is the virtuous cuftom of the favage Americans, concerning female cha 
tity during the time of their widowhood? 

The Indian women mourn three moons, for the death of any female of 
their own family or tribe. During that time, they are not to anoint, or 
tie up their hair ; neither is the hufband of the deceafed allowed, when 
the offices of nature do not call him, to go out of the houfe, much left 
to join any company : and in that time of mourning he often lies among 
the ames. The time being expired, the female mourners meet in the even 
ing of the beginning of the fourth moon, at the houfe where their female 
relation is ihtombed, and flay there till morning, when the neareft furviving 
old kinfwoman crops their fore-locks pretty fhort. This they call Eho Inta- 
ndah) " the women have mourned the appointed time."' Eho fignifies " a 
woman," Into, " finiflied by divine appointment," Aa " moving" or walk 
ing, and Ah\ " their note of grief, forrow, or mourning :" the name ex- 
prcflfes, and the cuftom is a vifible certificate of, their having mourned the 
appointed time for their dead. When they have eaten and drank together,, 
they return, home by fun-rife, and thus finifh their folemn Tah-ab, 

A -Rf G U M E N T XXL 

The furviving brother, by the Mbfaic law, was to RAISE SEED to a de 
ceafed brother who left a widow childlefs, to perpetuate his name and family,-, 
and inherit his goods and eft'ate, or be degraded : and, if the ifiue he begat 
was a male child, it afTumed the name of the deceafed. The Indian cuftom 
looks the very fame way, yet it is in this as in their law of blood the 
eldeft brother can redeem. 

Although a widow is bound, by a ftricl: penal law, to mourn the death 
of her hufband for the fpace of three or four years ; yet, if me be known to 
lament her lofs with a fmcere heart, for the fpace of a year, and her cir- 
cumftances of living are fo ftrait as to need a change of her ftation and 
th elder brother of her deceafed hufband lies with her, fhe is thereby ex- 

7 empted : 

190 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

empted from the law of mourning, has a liberty to tie up her hair, anoint 
and paint herfelf in the fame manner as the Hebrew widow, who was 
refufed by the furviving brother of her deceafed hufband, became free to 
marry whom me pleafed. 

The warm-conftitutioned young widows keep their eye fo intent on this 
mild beneficent law, that they frequently treat their elder brothers-in-law 
with fpirituous liquors till they intoxicate them, and thereby decoy them to 
make free, and fo put themfelves out of the reach of that mortifying law. 
If they are difappointed, as it.fometimes happens, they falcon the men, call 
ing them Hoobuk Wakfe^ or Skoobdlc, Hajfe kroopha, " Eunuchus prasputio 
detefto, et ene brcvi ," the moft degrading of epithets. Similar to the 
Hebrew ladies, who on the brother's refufal loofed his fhoe from his 
foot, and fpit in his face, (Deut. xxv. 9.); and as fome of the Rabbies 
tell us they made water in the Ihoe, and threw it with defpite in his face, and 
then readily went to bed to any of his kinfmen, or moft diftant relations of 
the fame line that fhe liked beft ; as Ruth married Boaz. Jofephus, to pal 
liate the fact, fays (he only beat him with the Ihoe over his face. Da 
vid probably alludes to this cuftom, Pfal. Ix. 8. "Over Edom I will 
caft out my fhoe," or detraction. 

Either by corruption, or mifunderftanding that family-kitting cuftom of 
the Hebrews, the corrupt Cheerake marry both mother and daughter at 
once , though, unlefs in this inftance, they and all the other favage na 
tions obferve the degrees of confanguinity in a ftrider manner than the 
Hebrews, or even the chriftian world. The Cheerake do not marry their 
firft or fecond coufins , and it is very obfervable, that the whole tribe 
reckon a friend in the fame rank with a brother, both with regard to mar 
riage, and any other affair in focial life. This feems to evince that they 
copied from the ftable and tender friendfhip between Jonathan and David; 
efpecially as the Hebrews had legal, or adopted, as well as natural bro 


Their method of giving names. 10 


When the Ifraelites gave names to their children or others, they chofe 
fuch appellatives as fuited belt with their circumftances, and the times. 
This cuftom was as early as the Patriarchal age ; for we find Abram was 
changed into Abraham j Sarai into Sarah, Jacob into Ifracl ; and after 
wards Ofhea, Jofhua, Solomon, Jedidiah, &c. &c. This cuftom is a (land 
ing rule with the Indians, and I never obferved the leaft deviation from it. 
They give their children names, exprefiive of their tempers, outward ap 
pearances, and other various circumftances ; a male child, they will call 
Choola, " the fox ;" and a female, PakaUe^ " the bloffom, or flower." 
The father and mother of the former are called Choollingge, and Cboollijbke, 
" the father and mother of the fox ;" in like manner, thole of the latter, Pa- 
kallingge^ and Pakahlijhke ; for Ingge fignifies the father, and IJhke the mother. 
In private life they are fo termed till that child dies ; but after that period 
they are called by the name of their next furviving child, or if they have 
none, by their own name : and it is not known they ever mention the name 
of the child that is extinct. They only faintly allude to it, faying, " the one 
that is dead," to prevent new grief, as they had before mourned the appointed 
time. They who have no children of their own, adopt others, and -aflume their 
names, in the manner already mentioned. This was of divine appoint 
ment, to comfort the barren, and was analogous to the kindred method of 
counting with the Hebrews : inflead of furnames, they ufed in their genea 
logies the name of the father, and prefixed Ben, " a fon," to the perfon's name. 
And thus the Greeks, in early times. No nation ufed furnames, except the 
Romans after their league and union with the Sabines. And they did not 
introduce that cuftom, with the lead view of diftinguifhing their families, 
but as a politic feal to their flrong compact of friendfhip ;. for as the 
Romans prefixed Sabine names to their own, the Sabines took Roman 
names in like manner. A fpecimen of the Indian war-names, will illu- 
ftrate this argument with more clearnefs. 


:j n 2 'On t'be defcent of .the American Indians from tht Jews. 

They crown a warrior, who has killed a diftinguifhed enemy, with the 
name, Xanafabe, " the buffalo-killer ;" Tanafa is a buffalo, compounded of 
Tab* the divine efience, and Afa, " there, or here is," as formerly men 
tioned : and Abe is their conflant war-period, fignifying, by their rhetori 
cal figure " one who kills another." It fignifies ahb to murder a per- 
fon, or beat him feverely. This proper name fignifies, the profperous killer, 
or deftroyer of the buffalo, or ftrong man it cannot poffibly be derived 
from nSN, Abeh, which -fignifies good-will, brotherly love, or tender affec 
tion , but from .to**, Abele, -grief, forrow, or mourning, as an effect of 
;that hoftile aft. 

) with the Indians, is the name of a rambling perfon, or one of 
.junfettled refidence, and Anoab ookproo^ is literally a bad rambling perfon, 
'"" a renagadoe :" likewife Anoab eokproo'Jbto makes it a fuperlative, on ac 
count of the abbreviation of IJhto, one of the divine names which they fub- 
join. In like manner, Noabe is the war-name of a perfon who kills a rambling 
enemy, or one detached as a fcout, fpy, or the like. It confifts of the 
patriarchal name, Noah, and Abe* " to kill," according to the Hebrew 
original, of which it is a contraction, to make it frnoother, and to indulge 
a rapidity of expreflion. There is fo ftrong an agreement between this 
compounded proper name, and two ancient Hebrew proper names, that 
it difplays the great-eft affinity between the warfaring red and white He 
brews ; efpecially as it fo clearly alludes to the divine hiftory of the firft 
homicide, and the words are adapted to their proper fignifications. 

Becaufe the Choktah did not till lately trim their hair, the other tribes 
rthrough contempt of their cuftom, called them Pas' Pharaab, " long hair," 
.and they in return, .gave them the contemptuous name, Skoobale'Jbto^ " very 
naked, or bare heads," compounded of Skooba, Ale 9 and IJbto : the fame 
word, orWakfiJbto, with Haffeb prefixed, exprefies t\\e penem pr<eputio .detefto ; 
which fhews they lately retained a glimmering, though confufed notion of 
the law of circumcifion, and the prohibition of not polling their hair. 
They call a crow, Pbarah; and Pas'pharaabe is the proper name of a 
warrior, who killed an enemy wearing long hair. It is a triple compound 
from Pafeb, " the hair of one's head, Pbaraab " long," and Abe, " kil 
ling," which they croud together. They likewife fay, their tongue is not 

method of giving names. 193 

" forked," thereby alluding probably to the formerly-hateful 
name of the Egyptian kings, Pharaoh. 

When the Indians diftinguifh themfelves in war, their names are always 
compounded, drawn from certain roots fuitable to their intention, and 
exprefiive of the characters of the perfons, fo that their names joined to 
gether, often convey a clear and diftinct idea of feveral circumftances as 
of the time and place, where the battle was fought, of the number and 
rank of their captives, and the (lain. The following is a fpecimen : one 
initiating in war-titles, is called Tannip-Abe, " a killer of the enemy ;" he 
who kills a perfon carrying a kettle, is crowned Soonak-Abe-TuJka ; the firft 
word fignifies a kettle, and the laft a warrior. Minggajhtabe fignifies " one 
who killed a very great chieftain," compounded of Mingo, AJh, and Abe. 
Pae-MdJhtabg) is, one in the way of war-gradation, or below the higheft in 
rank, Pae fignifying " far off." Tifshu Ma/htabe is the name of a warrior 
who kills the j war-chieftain's waiter carrying the beloved ark. Shulajhum- 
majhtabe, the name of the late Choktah great war-leader, our firm .friend 
Red-JhoeS) is compounded of Shulafs\ " Maccafeenes," or deer fkin-lhoes, 
Humma, " red," Aft), " the divine fire ;" 7* is inferted for the fake of a 
bold found, or to exprefs the multiplicity of the exploits he performed, 
in killing the enemy. In treating of their language, I obferved, they end 
their proper names with a vowel, and contract their war-titles, to give more 
fmoothnefs, and a rapidity of exprefiion. Etehk is the general name they 
give to any female creature, but by adding their conftant war-period to 
it, it fignifies " weary ," as Chetekkabe^ " you are weary :" to make it a 
fuperlative, they fay Chetebkabe-0 : or Chetehkabejhto. 

The Cheerake call a dull ftalking fellow, Sooreh, " the turkey-buz 
zard," and one of an ill temper, Katta Cheefteche, " the wafp," or a perfon 
refembling the dangerous Canaan rabbit, being compounded of the abbre 
viated name of Canaan, and Cheefto " a rabbit," which the Ifraelires were 
not to meddle with. One of our chief traders, who was very loquacious, 
they called Sekakee, " the grafs-hopper," derived from Sekako, " to make 
hade." To one of a hoarie voice, they gave the name, Kanoona, " the 

Cc The 

194 O n the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

The Katahba Indians call their chief old interpreter, on account of 
his obfcene language, Emate-Atikke, " the fmock-interpreter." The " ra~ 
oen" is one of the Cheerake favourite war-names. Carolina and Georgia 
remember Quorinnah, " the raven," of Huwhafe-town , he was one of the 
rnoft daring warriors of the whole nation, and by far the moft intelligent, 
and this name, or war-appellative, admirably fuited his well-known cha 
racter. Though with all the Indian nations, the raven is deemed an 
impure bird, yet they have a kind of facred regard to it, whether from 
the traditional knowledge of Noah's employing it while he was in the afk,. 
or from that bird having fed Elijah in the wildernefs (as fome fuppofe) 
cannot be determined -, however with our fuppofed red Hebrews the name 
points out an indefatigable, keen, fuccefsful warrior. ^- 


Although other refemblances of the Indian rites and cuftoms to thofe of 
the Hebrews, might be pointed out ; not to feem tedious, I proceed to the 
lad argument of the origin of the Indian Americans, which fhall be from 
their own traditions, from the accounts of our Englifh writers and from, 
the teftimonies which the Spanim writers have given, concerning the pri 
mitive inhabitants of Peru and Mexico. 

The Indian tradition fays, that their forefathers in very remote ages 
came from a far diftant country, where all the people were of one colour ; and. 
that in procefs of time they moved eaftward, to their prefent lettlements. 
So that, what fome of our writers have afferted is notjuft,who fay the In 
dians affirm, that there were originally three different tribes in thofe countries, 
when the fupreme chieftain to encourage fwift running, propofed a propor 
tionable reward of diftinction to each, as they excelled in fpeed in paf- 
fing a certain diftant river j as, that the firft Ihould be polifhed white 
the fecond red and the third black ; which took place accordingly after 
the race was over. This ftory fprung from the innovating fuperftitious 


Their own traditions of their origin. 195 

ignorance of the popifh priefts, to the fouth-weft of us. Our own In 
dian tradition is literal, and not allegorical, and ought to be received ; be- 
caufe people who have been long feparated from the reft of mankind, muft 
know their own traditions the beft, and could not be deceived in fo material, 
and frequently repeated an event. Though they have been disjoined 
through different interefts, time immemorial -, yet, (the rambling tribes of 
northern Indians excepted) they aver that they came over the Miffifippi 
from the weftward, before they arrived at their prefent fettlements. This 
we fee verified by the weftern old towns they have left behind them ; and 
by the fituation of their old beloved towns, or places of refuge, lying 
about a weft courfe from each different nation. Such places in Judea 
were chiefly built in the moft remote parts of the country ; and the Indians 
deem thofe only as beloved towns, where they firft fettled. 

This tradition is corroborated by a current report of the old Chikkafah In 
dians to our traders, " that about forty years fince, there came from Mexico 
fome of the old Chikkafah nation, (the Chichemicas, according to the Spa- 
nifh accounts) in queft of their brethren, as far north as the Aquahpah 
nation, about 130 miles above the Nachee old towns, on the fouth fide 
of the Mifiifippi , but through French policy, they were either killed, or 
fent back, fo as to prevent their opening a brotherly intercourfe, as they 
had propofed." And it is worthy of notice, that the Mnfkohgeh cave, 
out of which one of their politicians perfuaded them their anceftors for 
merly afcended to their prefent terreftrial abode, lies in the Nanne Hamgeh 
old town, inhabited by the Miflifippi-Nachee Indians, which is one of the 
moft weftern parts of their old-inhabited country. 

I hope I (hall be excufed in reciting their ancient oral tradition, from fa 
ther to fon to the prefent time. They fay, that one, of their cunning old re 
ligious men finding that religion did not always thrive beft, refolved with 
himfelf to impofe on his friends credulity, and alter in fome refpecls their 
old tradition ; he accordingly pretended to have held for a long time a con 
tinual intercourfe with their fubterranean progenitors in a cave, above 600 
miles to the weftward of Charles-town in South-Carolina, adjoining to the 
old Chikkafah trading path -, this people were then pofieft of every thing con 
venient for human life, and he promifed them fully to fupply their wants, 

196 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

in a conftant manner, without fweating in the field j the moft tronble- 
fome of all. things to manly brifk warriors. He infifted, that all who were 
defirous of fo natural and beneficial a correfpondence, fliould contribute 
large prefents, to be delivered on the embaffy, to their brethren terras 
filij^ to clear the old chain of friendlhip from the ruft it had contracted, 
through the fault of cankering time. He accordingly received prefents 
from moft of the people, to deliver them to their beloved fubterranean 
kindred: but it feems, they (hut up the mouth of the cave, and detained 
him there in order to be purified. 

The old wafte towns of the Chikkafah lie to the weft and fouth-weft, 
from where they have lived fince the time we firft opened a trade with them ; 
on which courfe they formerly went to war over the Miffifippi, becaufe they 
knew it beft, and had difputes with the natives of thofe parts, when they 
fkft eame from thence. Wifdom directed them, then to connive at fome 
injuries on account of their itinerant camp of women and children ; for 
their tradition fays, it confifted of ten thoufand men, befides women and 
children, when they came from the weft, and patted over the Miffifippi; 
The fine breed of running wood horfes they brought with them, were the 
prefent Mexican or Spanifh barbs. They alfo aver, that their anceftors cut 
off, and defpoiled the greateft part of a caravan, loaded with gold and filver j 
but the carriage of it proved fo troublefome to them, that they threw it 
into a river where it could not benefit the enemy. 

If we join together thefe circumftances, it utterly deftroys the fine 
Peruvian and Mexican temples of the fun, &c. which the Spaniards have 
lavidily painted from their own fruitful imaginations, to (hew their own 
capacity of writing, though at the expence of truth ; and to amufe the 
gazing diftant world, and leflen our furprife at the fea of reputed hea- 
thenim blood, which their avaricious tempers^ and flaming fuperftitious 
zeal, prompted them to fpill, 

If any Englim reader have patience to fearch the extraordinary volumes 
of the Spanilh writers, or even thofe of his catholic majefty's chief hifto- 
riographer, he will not only find a wild portrait, but a ftriking refemblance and 
unity of the civil and martial cuftoms, the religious rites, and traditions, of the 


teftimomes of Spanifl) writers. 

ancient Peruvians and Mexicans, and the North-Americans, according- to 
the manner of their morefque paintings : likewife, the very national name of 
the primitive Chikkafah, which they ftile Chichemicas, and whom they, 
repute to have been the firft inhabitants of Mexico, However, I lay little 
i^refs upon Spanifh teftimonies, for time and ocular proof have convinced 
us of the laboured falfhood of almoft all their hiftorical narrations concern 
ing every curious thing relative to South America. They were fo di- 
vefled of thofe principles inherent to honeft enquirers after truth, that 
they have recorded themfelves to be a tribe of prejudiced bigots, ftriving 
to aggrandife the Mahometan valour of about nine hundred fpurious ca 
tholic chriftians, under the patronage of their favourite faint, as perfons by 
whom heaven defigned to extirpate thofe two great nominal empires of. 
pretended cannibals. They found it convenient to blacken the natives with 
ill names, and report them to their demi-god the mufti of Rome, as facri- 
ficing every day, a prodigious multitude of human victims, to numerous 

The learned world is already fully acquainted wkh the falfehood of 
their hiftories ; reafon and later difcoveries condemn them. Many years 
have elapfed, fince I firft entered into Indian life, befides a good ac? 
quaintance with feveral fouthern Indians, who were converfant with the 
Mexican Indian rites and cuftoms ; and it is incontrovertible, that the 
Spanifh monks andjefuits in defcribing the language, religion, and cuf- 
toms, of the ancient Peruvians and Mexicans, were both unwilling, and 
incapable to perform fo arduous an under-taking,, with juftice and truth. 
They did not converfe with the natives as friends, but defpifed, hated, 
and murdered them, for the fake of their gold and filver : and to excufe 
their own ignorance, and moft (hocking, cool, premeditated murders, they 
artfully defcribed them as an abominable fwarm of idolatrous cannibals 
offering human facrifices to their various falfe deities, and eating of 
the unnatural victims. Neverthelefs, from their own partial accounts, we 
can trace a near agreement between the civil and martial cuftoms, the 
religious worfhip, traditions, drefs, ornaments, and other particulars of the 
ancient Peruvians and Mexicans, and thofe of the prefent North-Ame 
rican Indians, 


'ig8 On the defctnt of the American Indians from the Jews-. 

Acofta tells us, that though the Mexicans have no proper name for God, 
yet they allow a fupreme omnipotence and providence : his capacity was 
not diffident to difcover the former ; however, the latter agrees with the 
prefent religious opinion of the Englifh-American Indians, of an univerfal 
divine wifdom and government. The want of a friendly intercourfe between 
our northern and fouthern Indians, has in length of time occafioned fome of 
the former a little to corrupt, or alter the name of the felf-exiftent creator 
.and preferver of the univerfe, as they repeat it in their religious invocations, 
YO HE A AH. But with what mow of truth, confident with the above 
conceffion, can Acofta defcribe the Mexicans as offering human facrifices 
alfo to devils, and greedily feafting on the victims! 

We are told alfo that the Nauatalcas believe, they dwelt in another re 
gion before they fettled in Mexico; that they /wandered eighty years in 
fearch of it, through a ftrict obedience to their gods, who ordered them to 
go in queft of new lands, that had fuch particular figns $ that they punc 
tually obeyed the divine mandate, and by that means found out, and fettled 
the fertile country of Mexico. This account correfponds with the Chik- 
kafah tradition of fettling in their prefent fuppofed holy land, and feems to 
have been derived from a compound tradition of Aaron's rod, and the light 
or divine prefence with the Ifraelites in the wildernefs, when they marched. 
And probably the Mexican number of years, was originally forty ^ inftead 
of eighty. 

Lopez de Gomara tells us, that the Mexicans were fo devout, as to offer 
to the fun and earth, a fmall quantity of every kind of meat and drink, 
before any of themfelves tafted it ; and that they facrificed part of their 
corn, fruits, &c. in like manner ; otherwife, they were deemed haters of, 
and contemned by their gods. Is not this a confufed Spanifh picture of 
the Jewifli daily facrifice, and firft-fruit-orTering, as formerly obferved ? 
and which, as we have feen, are now offered up by the northern Indians, to 
the bountiful giver, the fupreme holy fpirit of fire, whom they invoke in 
that moft facred and awful fong, YO HE WAH, and loudly afcribe to him 
Hallelu-Tah? for his continued goodnefs to them. 

The Spanifh writers fay, that when Cortes approached Mexico, Mon- 

tezuma fhut himfelf up, and continued for the fpace of eight days in 

3 prayers 

teftimonies of Spamfo writers,. 199 

prayers and fading : but to blacken him, and excufe their own diabolical 
butcheries, they affert he offered human facrifkes at the fame time to abo 
minable and frightful idols. But the facrifices with morejuftice may be 
attributed to the Spaniards than to the Mexicans as their narratives alfo 
are a facrifice of truth itfelf. Montezuma and his people's fadings, prayers, 
&c. were doubtlefs the lame with thofe of the northern Indians, who on 
particular occafions, by feparate failings, ablutions, purgations, &c. feck 
to fanctify themfelves, and fo avert the ill effects of the divine anger, and 
regain the favour of the deity. 

They write, that the Mexicans offered to one of their gods, a facrifice 
compounded of fome of all the feeds of their country, grinded fine, and 
mixed with the blood of children, and of facrificed virgins ; that they 
plucked out the hearts of thofe vidims, and offered them as firft-fruits 
to the idoij and that the warriors imagined, the lead relic of the facrifice 
would preferve them from danger. They foon afterwards tell us of a tem 
ple of a quadrangular form, called Teucall^ " God's houfe," and Chacal- 
mua, " a minider of holy things," who belonged to it. They likewife 
fpeak of " the hearth of God, the continual fire of God, the holy ark," 
&c. If we cut off the jefuitical paintings of the unnatural facrifice, the 
red is confonant to what hath been obferved, concerning the North Ame 
rican Indians. And it is very obvious, the North and South American 
Indians are alike of vindictive tempers, putting mod of their invading 
enemies that fall into their power to the fiery torture. The Spaniards 
looking upon themfelves as divine embaffadors, under the imperial fig- 
nature of the HOLY LORD of Rome,, were exceffively enraged againd 
the fimple native South-Americans, becaufe they tortured forty of their 
captivated people by reprifal, devoting them to the fire, and ate their 
hearts, according to the univerfal war-cudom of our northern Indians, on 
the like occafion. The Spanilh terror and hatred on this account, their 
pride, religious bigotry, and an utter ignorance of the Indian dialects, 

rites, and cudoms, excited them thus to delineate the Mexicans; 

and equally hard names, and unjud charges, the bloody members of 
their diabolical inquifition ufed to bedow on thofe pretended here 
tics, whom they gave over to be tortured and burnt by the fecular 
power. But it is worthy of notice, the Spanifh writers acknowledge that 
the Mexicans brought their human facrifices from the oppofite fea ; and 
did not offer, up any of their own people: fo that this was but the fame 

2 oo On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

as our North-American Indians ftili prac"tife, when they devote tlieir cap 
tives to death , which is ufhered in with ablutions, and other methods of 
fanctifying themfelves, as have been particularly defcribed , and they per 
form the tblemnity with finging the facred triumphal fong, with beating of 
the drum, dances, and various forts of rejoicings, through gratitude to the 
beneficent and divine author of fuccefs againft their common enemy. By 
the defcription of the Portuguefe writers, the Indian-Brafilian method of 
war, and of torturing their devoted captives, very nearly refembks the 
cuftoms of our Indians. 

Acofta, according to his ufual ignorance of the Indian cuftoms, fay?, 
that fome in Mexico -underftood one another by whittling, on which 
he attempts to be witty but notwithftanding the great contempt and 
furprife of the Spaniards at thofe Indians who whittled as they went; 
this whittle was no other than the war-whoop, or a very loud and fhrill 
fiiout, denoting death, or good or bad news, or bringing in captives from 
war. The fame writer fays they had three kinds of knighthood, with 
which they honoured the beft foldiers ; the chief of which was the red 
ribbon , the next the lion, or tyger-knight j and the meaneft was the 
grey knight. He might with as much truth, have added the turky-buz- 
zard knight, the fun-blind bat knight, and the night-owl knight. His ac 
count of the various gradations of the Indian xvar-titles, (hews the unfkil- 
fulnefs of that voluminous writer, even in the firft principles of his Indian 
fubjecT:, and how far we ought to rely on his marvellous works. 

The accounts the Spaniards formerly gave us of Florida and its inhabitants, 
are written in the fame romantic drain with thofe of Mexico. Ramufius tells 
us, that Alvaro Nunes and his company reported the Apalahchee Indians 
to be fuch a gigantic people, as to carry bows, thick as a man's arm, and of 
eleven or twelve fpans long, mooting with proportional force and direction. 
It feems they lived then a fober and temperate life, for Morgues fays, one of 
their kings was three hundred years old ; though Laudon reckons him only 
two hundred and fifty : and Morgues afTures us, he faw this young Indian 
Methufalah's father, who was fifty years older than his fon, and that each of 
them was likely by the common courfe of nature to live thirty or forty 
years longer, although they had feen their fifth generation. Since that 
:imc they have fo exceedingly degenerated, in height of body, largenefs of 
3 defenfive 

The tejiimomes of Spanijh writers. 20 1 

defensive arms, and ante-deluvian longevity, that I am afraid, thefe early 
and extraordinary writers would fcarcely know the defcendants of thofe 
Apalahche Anakim, if they now faw them. They are at prefent the fame 
as their dwarfiih red neighbours j fie tranfit gloria mundi. 

Nicholaus Challufius paints Florida full of winged ferpents ; he affirms 
he faw one there, and that the old natives were very careful to get its head, 
on account of fome fuppofed fuperftition. Ferdinando Soto tells us, that 
when he entered Florida, he found a Spaniard, (J. Ortez) whom the na 
tives had captivated during the fpace of twelve years, confequently he muft 
have gained in that time, fufficient (kill in their dialect to give a true inter 
pretation and account and he afiures us, that Ucita, the Lord of the 
place, made that fellow, " Temple-keeper," to prevent the night-wolves 
from carrying away the dead corpfe ; that the natives worfhipped the devil, 
and facrificed to him the life and blood of moil of their captives ; who 
fpoke with them face to face, and ordered them to bring thofe offerings 
to quench his burning third. And we are told by Benzo, that when Soto 
died, the good-natured Cacique ordered two likely young Indians to be 
killed according to cuftom, to wait on him where he was gone. But the 
Chriftian Spaniards denied his death, and allured them he was the fon of 
God, and therefore could not die. If we except the laft fentence, which 
bears a juft analogy to the prefumption and arrogance of the popifh priefls 
and hiftorians, time and opportunity have fully convinced us, that 
all the reft is calumny and falfhood. It muft be confefled however, 
that none, even of the Spanifh monks and friars, have gone fo deep 
in the marvellous, as our own fagacious David Ingram he aflures us, 
" that he not only heard of very furprifing animals in thefe parts of the 
world, but faw elephants, horfes, and ftrange wild animals twice as big 
as our fpecies of horfes, formed like a grey-hound in their hinder parts ; 
he faw likewife bulls with ears like hounds ; and another furprifing fpecies 
of quadrupeds bigger than bears, without head or neck, but nature had fixed 
their eyes and mouths more fecurely in their breafts." At the end of his 
monftrous ideal productions, he juftly introduces the devil in the rear, fome- 
times afiuming the likenefs of a dog ; at other times the fhape of a calf, 
&c. Although this legendary writer has tranfcended the bounds of truth, 
yet where he is not emulous of outdoing the jefuitical romances, it would re 
quire a good knowledge of America to confute him in many particulars : 

D d this 

202 On the defccnt of the American Indians from the Jew*. 

this fhews how little the learned world can rely on American narrators;' 
and that the origin of the Indian Americans, is yet to be traced in a quite 
different path to what any of thofe hyperbolical, or wild conjectural writers 
have prefcribed.. 

The Spaniards have given us many fine polilhed Indian orations, but they 
were certainly fabricated at Madrid ; the Indians have no fuch ideas, or 
methods of fpeech, as they pretend to have copied from a faithful interpre 
tation on the fpot : however, they have religioufly fupported thofe monkifh 
dreams, and which are the chief bafis of their Mexican and Peruvian 

According to them, the Mexican arms was an eagle on a tunal or 
ftone, with a bird in his talons, which may look at the armorial enfign 
of Dan. And they fay, the Mexicans worihipped VitzliputzU y who pro- 
mifed them a land exceedingly plenty in riches, and all other good 
things ; on which account they fet off in queft of the divine promife, four 
of their priefts carrying their idol in a coffer of reeds, to whom he com 
municated his oracles, giving them laws at the fame time teaching them* 
the ceremonies and facrifices they fhould obferve ; and directed them when 
to march, and when to flay in camp, &c. So much, might have been col- 
letted from them by figns, and other exprefTive indications ; for we are well: 
aflured, that the remote uncorrupted part of the Mexicans Hill retain the fame 
notions as our northern Indians, with regard to their arriving at, and fettling 
in their refpe&ive countries, living under a theocratic government, and hav 
ing the divine war-ark, as a moft facred feal of fuccefs to the beloved peo 
ple, againft their treacherous enemies, if they ftrictly obferve the law of 
purity, while they accompany it. This alone, without any reflection on 
the reft, is a good glafs to mew us, that the South and North American. 
Indians are twin-born brothers ; though the Spanifh clergy, by their dark, 
but fruitful inventions, have fet them at a prodigious variance. 

Acofta tells us, that the Peruvians held a very extraordinary feaft called Tin* 
which they prepared themfelves for, by fafting two days, not accompany 
ing with their wives, nor eating falt-meat or garlic, nor drinking Chica dur 
ing that period that they afFembled all together in one place, and did not 
allow any ftranger or beaft to approach them -, that they had clothes and 


teftimonks of Spanljh writers. 303 

ornaments which they wore, only at that great feftival; that they went 
filently and fedately in proceffion, with their heads veil'd, and drums beat 
ing and thus continued one day and night ; but the next day they danced 
and feafted ; and for two days fucceffively, their prayers and praifes were 
heard. This is another flrong picture of the rites of the Indian North- 
Americans, during the time of their great feftival, to atone for fin ; and 
with a little amendment, would exhibit a furprifing analogy of fundry 
eflential rites and cuftoms of the Northern and South American Indians, 
which equally glance at the Mofaic fyftem. 

Lerius tells us, that he was prefent at the triennial feaft of the Carib- 
bians, where a multitude of men, women, and children, were aflembled; 
that they foon divided themfelves into three orders, apart from each other, the 
women and children being fiddly ordered to flay within, and to attend 
diligently to the finging : that the men fung in one houfe, He, He, He, 
while the others in their feparate lioufes, anfwered by a repetition of the 
fame notes : that having thus continued a quarter of an hour, they all 
danced in three different rings, each with rattles, &c. And the natives of 
Sir Francis Drake's New Albion, were defirous of crowning him Hio> or 
Ohio, a name well known in North America, and hath an evident relation to 
the great beloved name. Had the former been endued with a proper ca 
pacity, and given a fuitable attention to the Indian general law of purity, 
he would probably have defcribed them finging To- He Wah^ Halklu-Tab t 
&c. after the prefent manner of our North -American red natives; and as 
giving proper names to perfons and things from a religious principle, to 
exprefs the relation they bore to the facred four- lettered name. 

Thefe writers report alfo, that the Mexicans facrificed to the idol Haloc, 
** their God of water," to give them fealbnable rains for their crops : and 
they tell us, that the high-prieft was anointed with holy oil, and drefied 
with pontifical ornaments, peculiar to himfelf, when he officiated in his 
facred function ; that he was Iworn to maintain their religion, rights, and 
liberties, according to their ancient law -, and to caufe the fun to fhine, and 
all their vegetables to be properly refrefhed with gentle fhowers. If we 
throw down the " monkiih idol god of water," we here find a flrong parity 
of religious cuftoms and ceremonies, between the pretended prophets, and 
high-priefts of the prefent northern Indians, and the ancient Mexicans. 

D d 2 Acofla 

204 On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

Acofta tells us, that the Peruvians acknowledged a fupreme God, and* 
author of all things, whom they called Viracocba, and worshipped as the 
chief of all the gods, and honoured when they looked at the heavens or 
any of the celeftial orbs , that for want of a proper name for that divine 
fpirit of the univerfe, they, after the Mexican manner, defcribed him by 
his attributes, as PachacamaCi "the Creator of heaven and earth." But r 
though he hath defcribed them poffefTed of theie itrong ideas of God; 
and to have dedicated a fecred houfe to the great firft caufe, bearing hb 
divine prolific name , yet the Spanifh priefthood have at the fame time^ 
painted them as worshipping the devil in the very fame temple. Here 
and there a truth may be found in their writings, but if we except the 
well-defigned performance of Don Antonio de Ulloa, one duodecimo vo 
lume would have contained all the accounts of any curious importance^ 
which the Spaniards have exhibited to - the learned world, concerning the- 
genuine rites and cuftoms, of the ancient Peruvians and Mexicans, even 
fmce the feifure of thofe countries, and the horrid murders committed oa- 
the inhabitants,. 

But among all the Spanim friars j Hicronimo Roman was the greateft cham 
pion in hyperbolical writing. He has produced three volumes concern 
ing the Indian American rites and ceremonies ; he ftretches very far in his 
fecond part of the commonwealths of the world , but when he gets ta 
Peru and Mexico; the diftance of thofe remote regions enables him to ex 
ceed himfelf : beyond all difpute, the other writers of his black frater 
nity, are only younger brethren, when compared to him in the marvellous, 
His, is the chief of all the Spanifh romances of Peru -and Mexico.. 

He fays, the Indian natives, from Florida to Panama, had little religion 
or policy ; and yet he affirms a few pages after, that they believed in one- 
true, immortal and i,nvifible God, reigning in heaven, called Tocabu- 
uagna ma oroc oti , and is fo kind as to allow them images, priefts, and popes, 
their high-prieft being called pap* in that language. The origin of 
images among them, is accounted for in a dialogue he gives us, between 
a fhaking tree and one of the Indian priefts : after a great deal of dif, 
courfe, the tree ordered the prieft to cut it down, and taught him how to 
make images thereof, and erect a temple. The. tree was obeyed, and 
every year their votaries folemnized the dedication. The gpod man has 


*&e tejllmonies of Spani/h writers. 205 

laboured- very Hard for the images, and ought to have fuitable applaufe for 
fo ufeful an invention -, as it (hews the univerfal opinion of mankind, con 
cerning idols and images. With regard to that long conjectural divine name, 
by which they expreffed the one true God, there is not the lead room to 
doubt, that the South-Americans had the divine name, Tohewah y in as great 
purity as thofe of the north, efpecially, as they were at the fountain head > 
adding to it occafionally fome other ftrong compound words.. 

He fays alfo, that the metropolis of Cbolola had as many temples as there 
were days in the year ; and that one of them was the mod famous in the 
world, the bafis of the fpire being as broad as a man could (hoot with a 
crofs bow, and the fpire itfelf three miles high. The temples which the 
holy man fpeaks of, feem to have been only the dwelling-houfes of ftran- 
gers, who incorporated with the natives, differing a little in their form of 
ftrudure, according to the ufual cuttom of our northern Indians : and his 
religious principles not allowing him to go near the reputed fhambles of the 
devil, much lefs to enter the fuppofed territories of hell, he has done 
pretty well by them, in allowing them golden funs and moons veftry 
keepers, &c. The badnefs of his optic inftruments, if joined with the 
fuppofed dimnefs of his fight, may plead in excufe for the fpiral. alti-r 
tude, which he fixes at 15,480 feet , for from what we know of the northern 
Indians, we ought to ftrike off the three firft figures of its height, and the 
remaining 40 is very likely to have been the juft height of the fpire, alias 
the red-painted, great, war-pole.. 

The fame writer tells us, that the Peruvian pontifical office belonged to 
the eldeft fon of the king, or fome chief lord of the country : and that it 
devolved by fuccefiion. But he anoints him after a very folemn manner, 
with an ointment which he carefully mixes with the blood of circumcifed 
infants. This prieft of war dealing fo much in blood himfelf, without 
doubt, fufpefted them of the like-, though at the fame time no Indian 
prieft will either (hed, or touch human blood: but that they formerly 
circumcifed, may with great probability be allowed to the holy man. 

The temples of Peru were built on high grounds, or tops of hills, he 
fays, and were furrounded with four circular mounds of earth, the one rifing 


206 On the defcent of the American Indians from the y 

gradually above the other, from the outermoft circle ; and that the temple 
ilood in the center of the inclofed ground, built in a quadrangular form, 
having altars, &c. He has officioufly obtruded the fun into it; per 
haps, becaufe he thought it dark within. He defcribes another religious 
houfe, on the eaftern part of that great inclofure, facing the rifmg fun, to 
which they afcended by fix fteps, where, in the hollow of a thick wall, 
lay the image of the fun, &c. This thick wall having an hollow part with 
in it, was no other than their fanftum fanftorum, conformably to what I 
obferved, concerning the pretended holieft place of the Mufkohge In 
dians. Any one who is well acquainted with the language, rites, and 
cuftoms of the North- American Indians, can fee with a glance when thefe 
monkifh writers {tumble on a truth, or ramble at large. 

Acofta fays, that the Mexicans obferved their chief feaft in the month of 
May, and that the nuns two days before mixed a fufficient quantity of 
beets with honey, and made an image of it. He trims up the idol very 
genteelly, and places it on an azure-coloured chair, every way becoming 
the fcarlet-coloured pope. He foon after introduces flutes, drums, cornets, 
and trumpets, to celebrate the feaft of Eupania Vitzliputzli, as he thinks 
proper to term it : on account of the nuns, he gives them Pania, " fe 
minine bread," inftead of the mafculine Pants ; which he makes his nuns 
to diftribute at this love-feaft, to the young men, in large pieces refem- 
bling great bones. When they receive them, they religioufly lay them 
down at the feaft of the idol, and call them the fiefli and bones of the God 

Then he brings in the priefts vailed, with garlands on their heads, and 
chains of flowers about their necks, each of them ftrictly obferving their 
place : if the inquifitive reader mould defire to know how he difcovered 
thofe garlands and flowery chains-, (efpecially as their heads were covered, 
and they are fecret in their religious ceremonies) I muft inform him, that 
Acofta wrought a kind of cotton, or woollen cloth for them, much finer 
than filk, through which he might have eafily feen them befides, fuch a 
religious drefs gave him a better opportunity of hanging a crofs, and a 
tiring of beads afterwards round their necks. 


teftimomes of Spanifh wrifers. 207 

Next to thofe religions men, he ufhers in a fine company of gods and 
goddefies, in imagery, drefied like the others, the people paying them 
divine worfhip , this without doubt, is intended to fupport the popith faint- 
worfhip. Then he makes them fmg, and dance round the pafte, "and ufe 
feveral other ceremonies. And when the eyes are tired with viewing thofe 
wild circling?, he folemnly blefles, and confecrates thofe morfels of pafte, 
and thus makes them the real flefh and bones of the idol, which the 
people honour as gods. When he has ended his feaft of tranfubftan- 
tiation, he fets his facrificers to work, and orders them to kill and facrifice 
more men than at any other feftival, as he thinks proper to make this 
a greater carnival than any of the reft. 

When he comes to finilh his bloody facrifices, he orders the young 
men and women into two rows, directly facing each other, to dance 
and fing by the drums, in praife of the feaft and the god; and he 
fets the oldeft and the greateft men to anfwer the fong, and dance 
around them, in a great circle. This with a little alteration, refembles 
the cuftom of the northern Indians. He fays, that all the inhabitants of 
the city and country came to this great feaft, that it was deemed facri- 
legious in any perfon to eat of the honeyed pafte,. on this great feftival- 
day, or to drink water, till the afternoon ; and that they earneftly advifed 
thofe, who had the ufe of reafon, to abftain from water till the after 
noon, and carefully concealed it from the children during the time 
of this ceremony. But, at the end of the feaft, he makes the priefts 
and ancients of the temple to break the image of pafte and confecrated 
rolls, into many pieces, and give thern to the people by the way of 
facrament, according to the ftrifteft rules of order, from the greateft and 
eldeft, to the youngeft and leaft, men, women and children: and he fays, 
they received it with bitter tears, great reverence, and a very awful fear, 
with other ftrong figns of devotion, faying at the fame time,- " they did 
not eat the flefti and bones of their God." He adds, that they who 
had fick people at home, demanded a piece of the faid pafte, and car 
ried and gave it to them, with the moll profound reverence and awful 
adoration ; that all who partook of this propitiating facrifice, were obliged 
to give a part of the feed of Maiz, of which the idol was made ; and 
then at the end of the folemnity, a prieft of high authority preached to 
3 ^ e 

208 On the defcent of the American Indians from the 

the people on their laws and ceremonies, with a commanding voice, and 
expreflive geftures-, and thus difmifled the affembly. 

Well may Acofta blame the devil in the manner he does, for introducing 
among the Mexicans, fo near a refemblance of the popim fuperftitions and 
idolatry. But whether {hall we blame or pity this writer, for obfcuring 
the truth with a confufed heap of falmoods ? The above is however a curi 
ous Spanim picture of the Mexican paflbver, or annual expiation of fins, 
and of their fecond paflbver in favour of their fick people, and of paying 
their tythes, according to fimilar cuftoms of our North-American Indians. 
We are now fufficiently informed of the rites and cuftoms of the remote, 
and uncorrupt South-Americans, by the Miflifippi Indians, who have a 
communication with them, both in peace and war. 

Ribault Laudon defcribing the yearly feftival of the Floridans, fays, 
that the day before it began, the women fweeped out a great circuit of 
ground, where it was obferved with folemnity; that when the main body 
of the people entered the holy ground, they all placed themfelves in good 
order, flood up painted, and decked in their belt apparel, when three la- 
was, or priefts, with different paintings and geftures followed them, play 
ing on mufical inftruments, and finging with a folemn voice the others 
anfwering them : that when they made three circles in this manner, the 
men ran off to the woods, and the women ftaid weeping behind, cutting their 
arms with mufcle-fhells, and throwing the blood towards the fun ; and that 
when the men returned, the three days feaft was finifhed. This is another 
confufed Spanim draught of the Floridan paflbver, or feaft of love ; and 
of their univerfal method of bleeding themfelves after much exercife, which 
according to the Spanifh plan, they offered up to the fun. From thefe 
different writers, it is plain that where the Indians have not been corrupted 
by foreigners, their cuftoms and religious worfhip are nearly alike ; and 
alfo that every different tribe, or nation of Indians, ufes fuch-like divine 
proper name, and awful founds, as Yah-Wah* Hetovah, &c. being tranf- 
pofuions of the divine eflential name, as our northern Indians often re 
peat in their religious dances. As the found of Tah-wak jarred in Lau- 
don's ear, he called it Java, in refemblance to the Syriac and Greek me 
thod of exprefling the tetra-grammaton, from which Galatinus impofed it 
upon us, calling it Jehowah, inftead of Tohewab. 


The t eft monies of Spanifo writers. 209 

The Spanifh writers tell us, that the Mexicans had a feaft, and month, 
which they called Hueitozolti, when the maiz was ripe , every man at that 
time bringing an handful to be offered at the temple, with a kind of drink, 
called Utuli, made out of the fame grain. But they foon deck up an idol 
with rofes, garlands, and flowers, and defcribe them as offering to it fweet 
gums, &c. Then they fpeedily drefs a woman with the apparel of either 
the god, or goddefs, of fait, which muft be to feafon the human facrifices, 
as they depicture them according to their own difpofitions. But they foon 
change the fcene, and bring in the god of gain, in a rich temple dedicated 
to him, where the merchants apart facrifke vaft numbers of purchafed cap 
tives. It often chagrines an inquifitive and impartial reader to trace the 
contradictions, and chimerical inventions, of thofe afpiring bigoted writers ; 
who fpeak of what they did not underftand, only by figns, and a few 
chance words. The difcerning reader can eafily perceive them from 
what hath been already faid, and muft know that this Spanifh mountain 
in labour, is only the Indian firft fruit-offering, according to the ufage 
of our North-American Indians. 

It is to be lamented that writers will not keep to matters of fact : Some 
of our own hiftorians have defcribed the Mohawks as cannibals, and con 
tinually hunting after man*s flefh ; with equal truth Diodorus Siculus, 
Strabo, and others report, that in Britain there were formerly Anthropo 
phagi, " man-eaters." 

Garcillafib de La Vega, another Spanifli romancer, fays, that the Peru 
vian fhepherds worihipped the ftar called Lyra, as they imagined it pre- 
ierved their flocks : but he ought firft to have fupplied them with flocks, 
for they had none except a kind of wild fheep, that kept in the moun 
tains, and which are of fo fastid a fmell, that no creature is fond to ap 
proach them. 

The fame afpiring fictitious writer tells us, the Peruvians worfhipped the 
Creator of the world, whom he is pleafed to call Viracocba Pachuyacba 
ka hie : any perfon who is in the leaft acquainted with the rapid flowing 
wanner of the Indian American dialects, will conclude from the wild ter 
mination that the former is not the Peruvian divine name. Next to this 
.great Creator of the univerfe, he affirms, they worihipped the fun ; and 


2io On the defcent of the American Indians from the Jews. 

next to the folar orb, they dejfied and worfhipped thunder, believing it 
proceeded from a man in heaven, who had power over the rain, hail, and 
thunder, and every thing in the aerial regions ; and that they offered up facri- 
fices to it, but none to the univerfal Creator. To prefer the effect to the ac 
knowledged prime cauie, is contrary to the common reafon of mankind, 
who adore that object which they efteem either the mod beneficent, or the 
moft powerful. 

Monfieur Le Page Du Pratz tells us, he lived feven years among the 
Nachee Indians, about one hundred leagues up the Mifiifippi from New- 
Orleans ; and in order to emulate the Spanifh romances of the Indians, in 
his performance, he affirms their women are double-breafted, which he par 
ticularly defcribes : and then following the Spanifh copy, he affures us, the 
higheft rank of their nobles is called funs, and that they only attend the 
facred and eternal fire , which he doubtlefs mentioned, merely to introduce 
his convex lens, by which he tells us with a great air of confidence, he 
gained much efteem among them, as by the gift of it, he enabled them to 
continue their holy fire, if it mould cafually be near extmgnfhed. According 
to him, the Chikkafah tongue was the court language of the Mifiifippi In 
dians, and that it had not the letter R. The very reverfe of which is the 
truth , for the French and all their red favages were at conftant war with 
them, becaufe of their firm connection with the Englifh, and hated 
their national name -, and as to the language, they could not converfe with 
them, as their dialects are fo different from each other. I recited a long 
firing of his well-known ftories to a body of gentlemen, well fkilled in 
the languages, rites, and cuftoms of our Eaft and Weft-Florida Indians, 
and they agreed that the Koran did not differ more widely from the divine 
oracles, than the accounts of this writer from the genuine cuftoms of the 
Indian Americans. 

The Spanifh artifts have furnimed the favage war-chieftain, or their Em 
peror Montezuma, with very fpacious and beautiful palaces, one of which 
they raifed on pillars of fine jafper ; and another wrought with exquifite 
Ikill out of marble, jafper, and other valuable ftones, with veins glittering 
like rubies, they have finifhed the roof with equal fkill, compofed of car 
ved and painted cyprefs, cedar, and pine-trees, without any kind of nails. 
They fhould have fnrnifhed feme of the chambers with fuitable pavilions 


tejlimonies of Spantflj writers. 2 1 1 

and beds of ftate ; but the bedding and furniture in our northern Indian 
huts, is the fame with what they were pleated to defcribe, in the wonder 
ful Mexican palaces. In this they have not done juftice to the grand red 
monarch, whom they raifed up, (with his 1000 women, or 3000 accord 
ing to fome,) only to magnify the Spanim power by overthrowing him. 

Montezuma in an oration to his people, at the arrival of the Spaniards, 
is faid by Malvendar, to have perfuaded his people to yield to the power 
of his Catholic Majefty's arms, for their own fore-fathers were ftrangers 
in that land, and brought there long before that period in a fleet. The 
emperor, who they pretend bore fuch univerfal arbitrary fway, is raifed by 
their pens, from the ufual rank of a war chieftain, to his imperial great- 
nefs : But defpotic power is death to their ears, as it is deftruftive of their 
darling liberty, and reputed theocratic government ; they have no name 
for a fubjeft, but fay, " the people." In order to carry on the felf- 
flattering war-romance, they began the epocha of that great fidlitious em 
pire, in the time of the ambitious and formidable Montezuma, that their 
handful of heaven-favoured popim faints might have the more honour in 
deftroying it : had they defcribed it of a long continuance, they forefaw 
that the world would deteft the fallacy, as foon as they learned the lan 
guage of the pretended empire ; correfpondent to which, our own great 
Emperor Powhatan of Virginia, was foon dethroned. We are fufficiently 
informed by the rambling Mifiifippi Indians, that Motehjhuma is a com 
mon high war-name of the South-American leaders j and which the fate 
he is faid to receive, ftrongly corroborates. Our Indians urge with a great 
deal of vehemence, that as every one is promoted only by public virtue, 
and has his equals in civil and martial affairs, thofe Spanim books that have 
mentioned red emperors, and great empires in America, ought to be burnt 
in fome of the remaining old years accurfed fire. And this Indian fixed 
opinion feems to be fufficiently confirmed by the fituation of Mexico, as it 
is only about 315 miles from fouth to north \ and narrower than 200 miles 
along the northern coaft and lies between Tlafcala and Mechoacan, to the 
weft of the former, and eaft of the latter, whence the Mexicans were con 
tinually harrafled by thofe lurking fwift-footed favages, who could fecure 
their retreat home, in the fpace of two or three days. When we confider 
the vicinity of thofe two inimical dates to the pretended puifiant empire of 
Mexico, which might have eafily crufhed them to pieces, with her for- 

E e 2 midable^ 

212 On tie defient of tfie American Indians from the Jews. 

midable armies, in order to fecure the lives of the fubjecls, ard credit 
f the (late, we may fafely venture to affirm, from the long train of 
*ircumftances already exhibited, that the Spanifh Peruvian ?*K Mexican 
empires are without the leaft foundation in nature; and the." the Spaniards 
defeated the tribe of Mexico (properly called Mecbiko] &c, chiefly, bjr 
the help of their red allies. 

In their defcriptions of South-America and its native inhabitants, they 
treat largely of heaven, hell, and purgatory , lions, falamanders, maids of 
honour, maids of penance, and their abbefies ; men whipping themfelves 
with cords ; idols, mattins, monaftic vows, cloiflers of young men, with a 
prodigious group of other popifh inventions: and. we muft not forget to- 
do juftice to thofe induftrious and fagacious obfervers,. who difcovered 
two golgothas, or towers made of human fkulls, plaiftered with lime. 
Acofta tells us, that Andrew de Topia aflured him, he and Gonfola de 
Vimbria reckoned one hundred and thirty-fix thoufand human fkulls in 
them. The temple dedicated to the air, is likewife worthy of being men 
tioned, as they aflert in the ftrongeft manner, that five thoufand priefts 
ferved conftantly in it, and obliged every one who entered, to bring fome 
human facrifice y that the walls of it were an inch thick, and the floor a. 
foot deep,, with black, dry, clotted blood. If connected herewith, we re 
flect, that befide this blood-thirfty god of the air, the Spaniards have repre- 
fented them as worfhipping a multitude of idol gods and goddefles, (no lefs 
than two thoufand according to Lopez de Gbmara) and facrificing to them 
chiefly human victims , and that the friars are reported by a Spanilh bifhop 
of Mexico, in his letters of the year 1532, to have broken down twenty 
thoufand idols, and defolated five hundred idol temples, where the natives 
facrificed every year more than twenty thoufand hearts of boys and girls ; 
and that if the noblemen were burnt to afoes, they killed their cooks, but 
lers, chaplains, and dwarfs * and had a plenty of targets, maces, and en- 
figns hurled into their funeral piles : this terrible (laughter, points out to 
us clearly from their own accounts, that thefe authors either gave the world 
a continued chain of falfehoods, or thofe facrifices, and human maflacres 

* With regard to Indian dwarfs, I never heard of, or faw any in the northern nations, 
but one in Ifhtatce, a northern town of the middle part of the Cheerake country ^ and he 
was a great beloved man.. 


teftimonies of Spani/Jj writers. 213 

they boaftingly tell us of, would have, long before they came, utterly de- 
popuia '! Peru and Mexico. 

r now quote a little of their lefs romantic defcription, to confirm 
the account I have given concerning the genuine rites, and cuftoms, of 
our North-American Indians. 

The ornaments of the Indians of South and North America, were for 
merly, and ftill are alike, without the kail difference, except in value. 
Thofe fuperficial writers agree, that the men and women of Peru and 
Mexico wore golden ear-rings, and bracelets around their necks and wrifts , 
that the men wore rings of the fame metal in their nofe, marked their bo 
dies with various figures, painted their faces red, and the women their 
cheeks, which feems to have been a very early and general cuftom. They 
tell us, that the coronation of the Indian kings, and inftallment of 
their nobles, was folemnized with comedies, banquets, lights, &c. and 
that no plebeians were allowed to ferve before their kings , they muft 
be knights, or noblemen. All thofe founding high titles are only a con- 
fuied picture of the general method of the Indians in crowning their war 
riors, performing their war-dances, and efteeming thofe fellows as old 
women, who never attended the reputed holy ark with fuccefs for the 
beloved brethren. 

Don Antonio de Ulloa informs us, that fome of the South-American 
natives cut the lobes of their ears, and for a confiderable time, fattened 
fmall weights to them, in order to lengthen them ; that others cut holes in 
their upper and under lips , through the cartilege of the nofe, their chins,, 
and jaws, and either hung or thruft through them, fuch things as they mod 
fancied, which alfo agrees with the ancient cuftoms of our Northern In 

Emanuel de Moraes and Acofta affirm, that the Brafilians marry in their 
own family, or tribe. And Jo. de Laet. fays, they call their uncles and 
aunts, " fathers and mothers," which is a cuftom of the Hebrews, and 
of all our North-American Indians : and he affiires us they mourn very 
much for their dead j and that their clothes are like thofe f the early, 


214 On tie defcent of the American Indians from tie Jews. 

Ulloa afiures us, that the South American Indians have no other me 
thod of weaving carpets, quilts, and other duffs, but to count the 
threads one by one, when they are pafring the woof; that they fpin 
cotton and linnen, as their chief manufacture, and paint their cloth with 
the images of men, beads, birds, fifties, trees, flowers, &c. and that each 
of thofe webs was adapted to one certain ufe, without being cut, and 
that their patience was equal to fo arduous a tafk. According to this 
defcription, there is not the lead difparity between the ancient North-Ame 
rican method of manufacturing, and that of the South Americans. 

Acofta writes, that the clothes of the South-American Indians are fhaped 
like thofe of the ancient Jews, being a fquare little cloak, and a little coat: 
and the Rev. Mr. Thorowgood, anno 1650, obferves, that this is a proof 
of fome weight in mewing their original defcent ; efpecially to fuch who 
pay a deference to Seneca's parallel arguments of the Spaniards having 
fettled Italy -, for the old mode of drefs is univerfally alike, among the In 
dian Americans. 

Laet. in his defcription of America, and Efcarbotus, allure us, they often 
heard the South American Indians to repeat the facred word Halleluiah, 
which made them admire how they firft attained it. And Malvenda 
fays, that the natives of St. Michael had tomb-ftones, which the Spaniards 
digged up, with feveral ancient Hebrew characters upon them, as, 
Why is God gone away ?" And, " He is dead, God knows." Had 
his curiofity induced him to tranfcribe the epitaph, it would have 
given more fatisfaction ; for, as they yet repeat the divine eflcntial name, 
To He (to) With, fo as not to prophane it, when they mourn for their 
dead, it is probable, they could write or engrave it, after the like manner, 
when they fird arrived on this main continent, v 

We are told, that the South American Indians have a firm hope of the 
refurreftion of their bodies, at a certain period of time ; and that on this 
account they bury their mod valuable treafures with their dead, as well as 
the mod ufeful conveniencies for future domedic life, fuch as their bows 
and arrows : And when they faw the Spaniards digging up their graves for 
gold and filver, they requeded them to forbear fcattering the bones of their 
5 dead 

T6e tejlimonies of French writers, &c. 

dead in that manner, left it mould prevent their being raifed and united 
again *. </ 

Monfieur de Poutrincourt fays, that, when the Canada Indians faluted 
him, they faid Ho Ho Ho ; but as we are well affured, they exprefs To He 
a Ah, in the time of their feftivals and other rejoicings, we have reafon to 
conclude he made a very material miftake in fetting down the Indian folemn 
blcffing, or invocation. He likewife tells us, that the Indian women will 
not marry on the graves of their hufbands, i. e. " foon after their deceafe," 
but wait a long time before they even think of a fecond hufband. That, 
if the hu(band was killed, they would neither enter into a fecond marriage, 
nor eat flefh, till his blood had been revenged : and that after child-bear 
ing, they obferve the Mofaic law of purification, {hutting up themfelves 
from their hufbands, for the fpace of forty days. 

Peter Martyr writes, that the Indian widow married the brother of her 
deceafed hufband, according to the Mofaic law : and he fays, the Indians 
worfhip that God who created the fun, moon, and all invifible things, and 
who gives them every thing that is good. He affirms the Indian prieils had 
chambers in the temple, according to the cuftom of the Ifraelites, by divine 
appointment, as i Chron. ix. 26, 27. And that there were certain places 
in it, which none but their priefts could enter, i. e. " the holieft." And 
Key fays alfo, they have in fome parts of America, an exact form of king, 
prieft, and prophet, as was formerly in Canaan. 

Robert Williams, the fir ft Engliihman in New-England, who is faid to 
have learned the Indian language, in order to convert the natives, believed 
them to be Jews : and he allures us, that their tradition records that their 
anceftors came from the fouth-weft, and that they return there at death j 
that their women feparate themfelves from the reft of the people at certain 
periods ; and that their language bore fome affinity to the Hebrew. 

Baron Lahontan writes, that the Indian women of Canada purify them 
felves after travail ; thirty days for a male child and forty for a female : 
that during the faid time, they live apart from their hufband that the un 
married brother of the deceafed hufband marries the widow, fix months 

'/ * Vid.Ceuto ad Solin. Benz. & Hift. Peruv. 


1 6 On the defcent of the American Indians from the yews. 

after his deceafe , and that the outftanding parties for war, addrefs the 
great fpirit every day till they fet off, with facrifices, longs, and feafting. 

We are alfo told, that the men in Mexico fat tlown, and the women 
ftood, when they made water, which is an univerfal cuftom among our 
North-American Indians. Their primitive modefty, and indulgence to 
their women, feem to have introduced this fingular cuftom, after the 
manner of the ancient Mauritanians, on account of their fcantinefs of 
clothing, as I formerly obferved. 

Lerius tells us, that the Indians of Brafil wafh themfelves ten times a 
day j and that the hufbands have no matrimonial intercoufe with their wives, 
till their children are either weaned, or grown pretty hardy ; which is fimi- 
lar to the cuftom of thefe northern Indians, and that of the Ifraelites, as 
Hof. i. 8. He fays, if a Peruvian child was weaned before its time, it was 
called Ainfcoy " a baftard." And that if a Brafilian wounds another, he is 
wounded in the fame part of the body, with equal punifhment -, limb for 
limb, or life for life, according to the Mofaic law ; which, within our own 
memory, thefe Indian nations obferved fo eagerly, that if a boy (hooting 
at birds, accidentally wounded another, though out of fight, with his ar 
row ever fo (lightly, he, or any of his family, wounded him after the very 
fame manner ; which is a very ftriking analogy with the Jewifli retaliation. 
He likewife tells us, that their Sachems, or Emperors, were the heads of 
their church : and according to Laet. Defcript. America, the Peruvians 
had one temple confecrated to the creator of the world ; befides four 
other religious places, in refemblance of the Jewifh fynagogues. And Mal- 
venda fays, the American idols were mitred, as Aaron was. He likewife 
affirms, as doth Acofta, that the natives obferved a year of jubilee, ac 
cording to the ufage of the Ifraelites. 

Benzo fays, that the men and women incline very much to dancing ; and 
the women often by themfelves, according to the manner of the Hebrew 
nation-, as in i Sam. xxi. 11. efpecially after gaining a viftory over 
the enemy, as in Judg. xi. 34. xxi. 21. 23, and i Sam. xviii. 6, 7. 
Acofta tells us, that though adultery is deemed by them a capital crime, 
yet they at the fame time fet little value by virginity, and it feems to have 
been a bewailable condition, in Judea. He likewife fays, they wafh their 
i new 

*Ihe teft monies of different 'writers. 2 1 7 

new born infants, in refemblance of the Mofaic law ; as Ezek. xvi. 9. And 
the Spaniards fay, that the priefts of Mexico, were anointed from head 
to foot ; that they conftantly wore their hair, till they were fuperannuated ; 
and that the hufband did not lie with his wife, for two years after fhe was 
delivered. Onr northern Indians imitate the firft cuftom ; though in the fe- 
cond, they refemble that of the heathen by polling or trimming their hair; 
and with regard to the third, they always deep apart from their wives, for 
the greater part of a year, after delivery. 

By the Spanifh authorities, the Peruvians and Mexicans were Polyga>- 
mifts, but they had one principal wife, to whom they were married with 
certain folemnities , and murder, adultery, theft, and inceft, were punifhed 
with death. But there was an exception in fome places, with regard to in- 
ceftuous intcrcourfes : which is intirely confonant to the ufage of the nor 
thern Indians. For as to inceft, the Cheerake marry both mother and 
daughter, or two filters -, but they all obferve the prohibited laws of 
confanguinity, in the ftricteft manner. They tell us, that when the 
priefts offered facrifice, they abftained from women and ftrong drink, and 
fafted feveral days, before any great feftival ; that all of them buried their 
dead in their houfes, or in high places ; that when they were forced to bury- 
in any of the Spanifh church-yards, they frequently ftole the corpfe, and 
interred it either in one of their own houfes, or in the mountains ; and that 
Juan de la Torre took five hundred thoufand Pezoes out of one tomb. 
Here is a long train of Ifraelitiih cuftoms : and, if we include the whole, 
they exhibit a very ftrong analogy between all the eflential traditions, rites y 
cuftoms, &c. of the South and North American Indians ; though the Spa 
niards mix an innumerable heap of abfurd chimeras, and romantic dreams, 
with the plain material truths I have extracted. 

I lately perufed the firft volume of the Hiftorjrof North-America, from 
the difcovery thereof by Sylvanus Americanus, printed in New Jerfey, 
Anno 1761, from, I believe, the Philadelphia monthly paper and was 
not a little furprifed to find in fuch a ufeful collection, the conjectural, 
though perhaps well-intended accounts of the firft adventurers, and feeders, 
in North-America, concerning the natives : and which are laid as the only 
bafis for inquifitive writers to trace their origin, inftead of later and more 
fubftantial obfervations. Though feveral of thofe early writers were un- 

F f doubted ly 

"2 1 On the defcent of the American Indians from the 

doubtedly fagacious, learned, and candid ; yet under the circumftances in 
which they wrote, it was impoflible for them to convey to us any true 
knowledge of the Indians, more than what they gained by their fenfes, which 
muft be fuperficial, and liable to many errors. Their conjectural accounts 
ought to have been long fince examined, by fome of that learned body, or 
they mould not have given a fanction to them. However, they are lefs 
faulty than the Spanim accounts. 

I prefume, enough hath been faid to point out the fimilarity between 
the rites and cuftoms of the native American Indians, and thofe of the 
Ifraelites. And that the Indian fyftem is derived from the moral, cere 
monial, and judicial laws of the Hebrews, though now but a faint copy 
of the divine original. Their religious rites, martial cuftoms, drefs, mufic, 
dances, and domeftic forms of life, feem clearly to evince alfo, that they 
came to America in early times, before fects had fprung up among the 
Jews, which was foon after their prophets ceafed, and before arts and 
fciences had arrived to any perfection ; otherwife, it is likely they would 
have retained fome knowledge of them, at leaft where they firft fettled, it 
being in a favourable climate, and confequently, they were in a more com 
pact body, than on this northern part of the American continent. 

The South-American natives wanted nothing that could render life 
eafy and agreeable : and they had nothing fuperfluous, except gold and 
filver. When we confider the fimplicity of the people, and the fkill 
they had in collecting a prodigious quantity of treafures, it feems as 
if they gained that fkill from their countrymen, and, the Tyrians ; who 
in the reign of Solomon exceedingly enriched themfelves, in a few voy 
ages. The conjecture that the aborigines wandered here from captivity, 
by the north eaft parts of Afia, over Kamfchatfka, to have their liberty 
and religion -, is not fo improbable, as that of their being driven by ftrefs of 
weather into the bay of Mexico, from the eaft. 

Though a fingle argument of the general fubject, may prove but little, 
disjoined from the reft ; yet, according to the true laws of hiftory, and the 
beft rules for tracing antiquities, the conclufion is to be drawn from clear 
correfponding circumftances united : the force of one branch of the fubject 
ought to be connected with the others, and then judge by the whole. Such 


Conjectures when, and bcnv, America wasjirft fettled. 2 J 9- 

readers as may diflent from my opinion of the Indian American origin and 
defcent, ought to inform us how the natives came here, and by what means 
they formed the long chain of rites, cuftoms, &c. fo fimilar to the ufage 
of the Hebrew nation, and in general diffimilar to the modes, &c. of the 
Pagan world. 

Ancient writers do not agree upon any certain place, where the Ophfr of 
Solomon lay ; it muft certainly be a great diftance from Joppa, for it was 
a three years voyage. After the death of Solomon, both the Ifraelites and 
Tyrians feem to have utterly difcontinued their trading voyages to that 
part of the world. Eufebius and Eupolemus fay, that David fent to 
Urphe, an ifland in the red fea, and brought much gold into Judea j and 
Ortelius reckons this to have been Ophir : though, agreeably to the opinion 
of the greater part of the modern literati, he alfo conjectures Cephala, or 
Sophala, to have been the Ophir of Solomon. Junins imagines it was in 
Aurea Cherfonefus ; Tremellius and Niger are of the fame opinion. But 
Vatablus reckons it was Hifpaniola, difcovered, and named fo by Colum 
bus : yet Poftellus, Phil. Mornay, Arias Montanus, and Goropius, are of 
opinion that Peru is the ancient Ophir; fo widely different are their conjec 
tures. Ancient hiftory is quite filent, concerning America ; which indicates 
that it has been time immemorial rent afunder from the African continent,, 
according to Plato's Timeus. The north-eaft: parts of Afia alfo were 
undifcovered, till of late. Many geographers have flretched Afia and Ame 
rica fo far, as to join them together : and others have' divided thofe two 
quarters of the globe, at a great diftance from each other. But the Ruffians, 
after feveral dangerous attempts, have clearly convinced the world, that they 
are now divided, and yet have a near communication together, by a nar 
row ftrait, in which feveral iflands are fituated ; through which there is an 
eafy pafiage from the north-eaft of Afia to the north-weft of America by 
the way of Kamfchatfkai which probably joined to the north- weft point 
of America. By this paflage, fuppofing the main continents were fepa- 
rated, it was very practicable for the inhabitants to go to this extcnfive- 
new world ; and afterwards, to have proceeded in queft of fuitable climates,. 
according to the law of nature, that directs every creature to fuch climes 
as are moft convenient and agreeable. 

F f a Having 

220 On the defcent of the American Indians from the y 

Having endeavoured to afcertain the origin and defcent of the North- 
American Indians and produced a variety of arguments that incline my 
own opinion in favour of their being of Jewifti extraction which at the 
fame time furnifh the public with a more complete INDIAN SYSTEM of reli 
gious rites, civil and martial cuftoms, language, &c. &c. than hath ever 
been exhibited, neither disfigured by fable, nor prejudice I mail proceed 
to give a general hiftorical defcription of thofe Indian nations among whom 
I have chiefly refided. 


A N 






O N 

Their LAWS, and the Conduct of our COVER NOR s, Sui*ER' 
INTENDANTS, MISSIONARIES, 5cc. towards them, 

A N 


O F T H E 


I BEG IN with the KATAHBA, becaufe their country is the mod conti 
guous to Charles-Town in South-Carolina. It is placed in our mo 
dern maps, in 34 degrees north latitude, but proper care hath not yet 
been taken to afcertain the limits and fite of any of the Indian nations. It 
is bounded on the north and north-eaft, by North-Carolina on the eaft 
and fouth, by South-Carolina and about weft-fouth-weft by the Cheerake 
nation. Their chief fettlement is at the diftance of one hundred and forty- 
five miles from the Cheerake, as near as I can compute it by frequent jour- 
nies, and about 200 miles diftant from Charles-Town. 

Their foil is extremely good j the climate open and healthy ; the water 
very clear, and well-tailed. The chief part of the Katahba country, I ob- 
ferved during my refidence with them, was fettled clofe on the eaft fide of 
a broad purling river, that heads in the great blue ridge of mountains, 
and empties itfelf into Santee-river, at Amelia townihip , then running eaft- 
ward of Charles-town, difgorges itfelf into the Atlantic. The land would 
produce any fort of Indian provifions, but, by the continual pafiing and re- 
pafling of the Englim, between the northern and fouthern colonies, the Ka 
tahba live perhaps the meaneft of any Indians belonging to the Britifli Ame 
rican empire. They are alfo fo corrupted by an immoderate ufe of our fpiritu- 
ous liquors, and of courfe, indolent, that they fcarcely plant any thing fit for 
the fupport of human life. South-Carolina has fupplied their wants, either 
3 through 

224 An Account of the Katahba Nation. 

through a political, or charitable view ; which kindnefs, feveral refpe<5table 
inhabitants in their neighbourhood fay, they^abufe in a very high degree; 
for they often deftroy the white people's live ftock, and even kill their 
horfes for mifchief fake. 

It was bad policy of a prime magiftrate of South-Carolina, who a little 
more than twenty years ago, defired me to endeavour to decoy the Chik- 
kafah nation to fettle near New-Windfor, or Savanna town. J?or the Indians 
will not live peaceable with a mixed fociety of people. It is too recent to 
need enlarging on, that the Englifh inhabitants were at fundry times forced 
by neceffity, to take fhelter in New-Windfor and Augufta garrifons, at the 
alarm of the cannon, to fave themfelves from about an hundred of the 
Chikkafah, who formerly fettled there, by the inticement of our traders : 
the two colonies of South- Carolina and Georgia were obliged on this oc- 
cafion to fend up a number of troops, either to drive them off, or check 
their infolence. By fome fatality, they are much addicted to exceflive 
drinking, and fpirituous liquors diftract them fo exceedingly, that they will 
even eat live coals of fire. Harm ufage alone, will never fubdue an In 
dian : and too much indulgence is as bad -, for then they would think, 
what was an effect of politic friendfhip, proceeded from a tribute of fear* 
We may obferve of them as of the fire, " it is fafe and ufeful, cherimed at 
proper diftance ; but if too near us, it becomes dangerous, and will fcorcli 
if not confume us." 

We are not acquainted with any favages of fo warlike a difpofition, 
as the Katahba and the Chikkafah. The fix united northern nations 
have been time immemorial engaged in a bitter war with the former,, 
and the Katahba are now reduced to very few above one hundred fight 
ing men the fmall pox, and intemperate drinking, have contributed how 
ever more than their wars to their great decay. When South-Carolina 
was in its infant ftate, they muttered fifteen hundred fighting men : and 
they always behaved as faithful and friendly to the Englifh as could 
be reafonably expected, from cunning, fufpicious, and free favages. About 
the year 1743, their nation confided of almoft 400 warriors, of above 
twenty different dialects. I fhall mention a few of the national names 
of thofe, who make up this mixed language , the Katahba, is the flan- 
dard, or court-dialect the Wataree^ who make up a large town ; Een6 y 

3 Charab) 

An Account of the Katahba Nation, 22$ 

now Cbowan, Canggaree, Nachee, Tamafee, Cocfab, &c. Their coun 
try had an old wafte field of feven miles extent, and feveral others of fmal- 
ler dimenfions ; which (hews that they were formerly a numerous people, 
to cultivate fo much land with their dull (lone-axes, before they had an 
opportunity of trading with the Englifh, or allowed others to incorporate 
with them. 




GHEE' RAKE N A T I O N, &c. 



E (hall now treat of the Cheerake nation, as the next neighbour 
to South-Carolina. 

Their national name is derived from Chee~ra, " fire," which is their re 
puted lower heaven, and hence they call their magi, Cheera-takge, " men 
poflefied of the divine fire. The country lies in about 34 degrees north 
latitude, at the diftance of 340 computed miles to the north-weft of Charles- 
town, 140 miles weft-fouth-weft from the Katahba nation, and almoft 
200 miles to the north of the Mufkohge or Creek country. 

They are fettled, nearly in an eaft and weft courfe, about 140 miles in 
length from the lower towns where Fort-Prince-George (lands, to the late 
unfortunate Fort-Loudon. The natives make two divifions of their coun 
try, which they term Ayrate, and Ottare> fignifying " low," and " moun 
tainous." The former divifion is on the head branches of the beau 
tiful Savanah river, and the latter on thofe of the eafternmoft river of the 
great Mifiifippi. Their towns are always clofe to fome river, or creek ; as 
there the land is commonly very level and fertile, on account of the fre 
quent warnings off the mountains, and the moifture it receives from the 
Waters, that run through their fields. And fuch a fituation enables therr 
to perform the ablutions, connected with their religious worfhip. 

The eaftern, or lower parts of this country, are {harp and cold to a Ca 
rolinian in winter, and yet agreeable : but thole towns that lie among the 


An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 227 

Apalahche mountains, are very pinching to fuch who are unaccuftomed to 
a lavage life. The ice and fnow continue on the north-fide, till late in the 
fpring of the year : however, the natives are well provided for it, by their 
bathing and anointing themfelves. This regimen Ihuts up the pores of the 
body, and by that means prevents too great a perfpiration , and an accuf- 
tomed exercife of hunting, joined with the former, puts them far above 
their climate: they are al mod as impenetrable to cold, as a bar of fteel, 
and the fevered cold is no detriment to their hunting. 

Formerly, the Cheerake were a very numerous and potent nation. Not 
above forty years ago, they had 64 towns and villages, populous, and full 
of women and children. According to the computation of the mod intel 
ligent old traders of that time, they amounted to upwards of fix-thoufand 
fighting men ; a prodigious number to have fo clofe on our fettlements, 
defended by blue-topped ledges of inacceflible mountains : where, but three 
of them can make a fuccefsful campaign, even againft their own watchful 
red-colour enemies. But they were then fimple, and peaceable, to what 
they are now. 

As their weftern, or upper towns, which are fituated among the Apalah 
che- mountains, on the eadern branches of the Miflifippi, were alway en 
gaged in hot war with the more northern Indians ; and the middle and lower 
towns in conftant hoftility with the Mufkohge, till reconciled by a go 
vernor of South-Carolina for the fake of trade, feveral of their beft towns, 
on the fouthcrn* branch of Savanah- river, are now forfaken and deftroyed : 
as Ifotatohe^ Echia^ Toogalo, &c. and they are brought into a narrower 
compais. At the conclufion of our laft war with them, the traders calcu 
lated the number of their warriors to confift of about two thoufand three- 
hundred, which is a great diminution for fo mort a fpace of time: and if 
we may conjecture for futurity, from the circumftances already pad, 
there will be few of them alive, after the like revolution of time. Their 
towns are dill fcattered wide of each other, becaufe the land will not admit 
any other fettlement : it is a rare thing to fee a level trac"l of four hundred 
acres. They are alfo drongly attached to rivers, all retaining the opi 
nion of the ancients, that rivers are neceflary to conditute a paradife. Nor 
is it only ornamental, but likewife beneficial to them, on account of purify 
ing themfelves, and alfo for the fervices of common life, fuch as Mining, 

G g 2 fowling, 

22$ An Account of tie Checrake Nation. . 

fowling, and killing of deer, which come in the warm feafon, to eat the 
faltifh mofs and grafs, which grow on the rocks, and under the furface of 
the waters. Their rivers are generally very {hallow, and pleafant to the 
eye ; for the land being high, the waters have a quick defcent , they feldom 
overflow their banks, unlefs when a heavy rain falls on a deep fnow. 
Then, it is frightful to fee the huge pieces of ice, mixed with a prodigi 
ous torrent of water, rolling down the high mountains, and over the fteep 
craggy rocks, fo impetuous, that nothing can refill their force. Two old 
traders faw an inftance of this kind, which fwept away great plantations 
of oaks and pines, that had their foundation as in the center of the earth. 
It overfet feveral of the higher rocks, where the huge rafts of trees 
and ice had flopped up the main channel, and forced itfelf acrofs through 
the fmaller hills. 

From the hiftorical defcriptions of the Alps, and a perfonal view of 
the Cheerake mountains I conclude the Alps of Italy are much inferior 
to feveral of the Cheerake mountains, both in height and rockinefs : the laft 
are alfo of a prodigious extent, and frequently impaflfable by an enemy. 
The Allegeny, or " great blue ridge," 'commonly called the Apalakche- 
mountains, are here above a hundred miles broad , and by the beft ac 
counts we can get from the Miflifippi Indians, run along between Peru 
and Mexico, unlefs where the large rivers occafion a break. They ftretch 
alfo all the way from the weft of the northern great lakes, near Hudfon's 
Bay, and acrofs the MifTifippi, about 250 leagues above New-Orleans. 
In the lower and middle parts of this mountainous ragged country, the In 
dians have a convenient paflable path, by the foot of the mountains : but 
farther in, they are of fuch a prodigious height, that they are forced to wind 
from north to fouth, along the rivers and large creeks, to get afafe paflage : 
and the paths are fo fteep in many places, that the horfes often pitch, 
and rear an end, to fcramble up. Several of the mountains are ibme 
miles from bottom to top, according to the afcent of the paths : and there 
are other mountains I have feen from thefe, when out with the Indians 
in clear weather, that the eye can but faintly difcern, which therefore 
muft be at a furprifing diftance. 

Where the land is capable of cultivation, it would produce any thing 
fuitable to the climate. Hemp, and wine-grapes grow there to admiration : 


An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 229 

they have plenty of the former, and a variety of the latter that grow 
fpontaneoully. If thefe were properly cultivated, there muft be a good 
return. I have gathered good hops in the woods oppofite to Nuquofe, 
where our troops were repelled by the Cheerake, in the year 1760. There 
is not a more healthful region under the fun, than this country , for the 
air is commonly open and clear, and plenty of wholefome and pkafanc 
water. I know feveral bold rivers, that fill themfelves in running about 
thirty miles, counting by a dire<5t courie from their feveral different foun 
tains, and which are almoft as tranfparent as glafs. The natives live com 
monly to a great age , which is not to be wondered at, when we confider 
the high fituation of their country, the exercifes they purfue, the rich- 
nefs of the foil that produces plenty for a needful fupport of life, with 
out fatiguing, or over-heating the planters, the advantages they receive 
from fuch excellent good water, as gufhes out of every hill -, and the great 
additional help by a plain abftemious life, commonly eating and drinking, 
only according to the felicitations of nature. I have feen ftrangers however, 
full of admiration at beholding fo few old people in that country j and they 
have concluded from thence, and reported in the Englifh fettlements, that 
it was a fickly fhort-lived region : but we mould confider, they are always 
involved in treacherous wars, and expofed to perpetual dangers, by which, 
infirm and- declining people generally fall, and the manly old warrior 
will not Ihrink. And yet many of the peaceable fellows, and women, efpe- 
cially in the central towns, fee the grey hairs of their children, long be 
fore they die ; and in every Indian country, there are a great many old 
women on the frontiers, perhaps ten times the number of the men of the 
fame age and place which plainly fhews the country to be healthy. Thofe 
reach to a great age, who live fecure by the fire-fide, but no climates or 
conftitudons can harden the human body, and make it bullet-proof, 

The Cheerake country abounds with the bed herbage, on the richer 
parts of the hills and mountains \ and a great variety of valuable herbs is 
promifcuoufiy fcattered on the lower lands. It is remarkable, that none of 
our botanifts (hould attempt making any experiments there, notwithftand- 
ing the place invited their attention, and the public had a right to exped 
fo generous an undertaking from feveral of them , while at the fame 
time, they would be recovering, or renewing their health, at a far eafier, 
cheaper, and fafer rate, than coafting it to our northern colonies. 

5 Or 

230 An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 

On the level parts of the water-fide, between the hills, there are plenty 
of reeds : and, formerly, fuch places abounded with great brakes of win 
ter-canes. The foliage of which is always green, and hearty food for 
horfes and cattle. The traders ufed to raife there ftocks of an hundred, 
and a hundred and fifty excellent horfes -, which are commonly of a good 
fize, well-made, hard-hoofed, handfome, ftrong and fit for the faddle or 
draught : but a perfon runs too great a rifk to buy any to take them out of 
the country, becaufe, every fpring-feafon moft of them make for their na 
tive range. Before the Indian trade was ruined by our left-handed policy, 
and the natives were corrupted by the liberality of our dim-fighted poli 
ticians, the Cheerake were frank, fincere, and induftrious. Their towns 
then, abounded with hogs, poultry, and every thing fufficient for the fup- 
port of a reafonable life, which the traders purchafed at an eafy rate, to 
their mutual fatisfacYion : and as they kept them bufily employed, and did 
not make themfelves too cheap, the Indians bore them good-will and re- 
fptct and fuch is the temper of all the red natives. 

I will not take upon me to afcertain the real difference between the va 
lue of the goods they annually purchafed of us, in former and later times ^ 
but, allowing the confumption to be in favour of the laft, what is the 
gain of fuch an uncertain trifle, in comparifon of our charges and lofles 
by a mercilefs favage war ? The orderly and honeft fyftem, if refumed, 
and wifely purfued, would reform- the Indians, and regain their loft af 
fections , but that of general licences to mean reprobate pedlars, by which 
they are inebriated, and cheated, is pregnant with complicated evils to 
the peace and welfare of our valuable fouthern colonies* 

As the Cheerake began to have goods at an under price, it tempted them 
to be both proud, and lazy. Their women and children are now far 
above taking the.trouble to raife hogs for the ugly white people, as the 
beautiful red heroes proudly term them. If any do they are forced to 
feed them in fmall penns, or inclofures, through all the crop-feafon, and 
chiefly on long purfly, and other wholfome weeds, that their rich fields 
abound with. But at the fall of the leaf, the woods are full of hiccory- 
nuts, acorns, chefnuts, and the like; which occafions the Indian bacon 
to be more ftreaked, firm, and better tafted, than any we meet with m 
5 the 

An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 231 

the Englifh fettlements. Some of the natives are grown fond of horned 
cattle, both in the Cheerake and Mufkohge countries, but moft decline 
them, becaufe the fields are not regularly fenced. But almoft every one 
hath horfes, from two to a dozen; which makes a confiderable num 
ber, through their various nations. The Cheerake had a prodigious 
number of excellent horfes, at the beginning of their late war with us ; 
bur pinching hunger forced them to eat the greateft part of them, in the 
time of that unfortunate event. But as all are now become very active 
and fociable, they will foon fupply themfelves with plenty of the beft fort, 
from our fettlements they are fkilful jockies, and nice in their choice. 

From the head of the fouthern branch of Savanah-river, it does not ex- 
ceed half a mile to a head fpring of the Mifiifippi-water, that runs through 
the middle and upper parts of the Cheerake nation, about a north-weft 
courfe, and joining other rivers, they empty themfelves into the great 
MiiTifippi. The above fountain, is called " Herbert's fpring * :" and it was 
natural for ftrangers to drink thereof, to quench thirft, gratify their cu- 
riofity, and have it to fay they had drank of the French waters. Some 
of our people, who went only with the view of flaying a fhort time, but 
by fome allurement or other, exceeded the time appointed, at their re 
turn, reported either through merriment or fuperftition, that the fpring had 
fuch a natural bewitching quality, that whofoever drank of it, could not 
poflibly quit the nation, during the tedious fpace of feven years. All the de 
bauchees readily fell in with this fuperftitious notion, as an excufe for their 
bad method of living, when they had no proper call to Itay in that coun 
try ; and in procefs of time, it became as received a truth, as any ever 
believed to have been fpoken by the delphic oracle. One curfed, becaufe 
its enchantment had marred his good fortune -, another condemned his 
weaknefs for drinking down witchcraft, againft his own fecret fufpicions ; 
one fwore he would never tafte again fuch known dangerous poifon, even 
though he fhould be forced to go down to the Mifiifippi for water , and 
another comforted himfelf, that fo many years out of the feven, were al 
ready parted, and wiflied that if ever he tafted it again, though under the 
greateft necefllty, he might be confined to the ftygian waters. Thofe 
who had their minds more inlarged, diverted themfelves much at their coft, 

Se named from an early commiflioner of Indian affairs. 


232 An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 

for it was a noted favourite place, on account of the name it went by"; and 
being a well-ficuated and good fpring, there all travellers commonly drank 
a bottle of choice : But now, moft of the packhorfe-men, though they 
be dry, and alfo matchlefs fons of Bacchus, on the mod prefixing invita 
tions to drink there, would fvvear to forfeit facred liquor the better part 
of their lives, rather than bafely renew, or confirm the lofs of their liberty* 
which that execrable fountain occafions. 

About the year 1738, the Cheerake received a moft depopulating mock, 
by the fmall pox, which reduced them almoft one half, in about a year's 
time : it was conveyed into Charles-town by the Guinea-men, and foon after 
among them, by the infected goods. At firft it made flow advances, and 
as it was a foreign, and to them a ftrange difeafe, they were fo deficient 
in proper {kill, that they alternately applied a regimen of hot and cold 
things, to thofe who were infected. The old magi and religious phy- 
ficians who were confulted on fo alarming a crifis, reported the ficknefs 
had been fent among them, on account of the adulterous intercourfes of 
their young married people, who the-paft year, had in a moft notorious man 
ner, violated their ancient laws of marriage in every thicket, and broke down 
and polluted many of the honeft neighbours bean-plots, by their heinous 
crimes, which would coft a great deal of trouble to purify again. To 
thofe flagitious crimes they afcribed the prefent difeafe, as a neceflary effect 
of the divine anger , and indeed the religious men chanced to fuffer the 
moft in their fmall fields, as being contiguous to the town-houfe, where 
they ufually met at night to dance, when their corn was out of the {talks ; 
upon this pique, they mewed their prieft-craft. However, it was thought 
needful on this occafion, to endeavour to put a flop to the progrefs of 
fuch a dangerous difeafe : and as it was believed to be brought on them 
by their unlawful copulation in the night dews, it was thought moft practi 
cable to try to effect the cure, under the fame cool element. Immediately, 
they ordered the reputed finners to lie out of doors, day and night, with 
their breaft frequently open to the night dews, to cool the fever : they 
were likewife afraid, that the difeafed would otherwife pollute the houfe, 
and by that means, procure all their deaths. Inftead of applying warm 
remedies, they at laft in every vifit poured cold water on their naked 
breafts, fung their religious myftical fong, To To, &c. with a doleful tune, 


An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 233 

and maked a callabafh with the pebble-ftones, over the fick, ufmg a 
oreat many frantic geftures, by way of incantantion. From the reputed 
caufe of the difeafe, we jnay rationally conclude their phyfical treat 
ment of it, to be of a true old Jewifh defcent-, for as the Ifraelites in 
voked the deity, or afked a blefling on every thing they undertook, fo all 
the Indian Americans feek for it, according on the remaining faint glimpfc 
of their tradition. 

When they found their theological regimen had not the defired effect, 
but that the infection gained upon them, they held a fecond confutation, 
and deemed it the beft method to fweat their patients, and plunge them into 
the river, which was accordingly done. Their rivers being very cold 
in fummer, by reafon of the numberlefs fprings, which pour from the hills 
and mountains and the pores of their bodies being open to receive the 
cold, it rufhing in through the whole frame, they immediately expired : upon 
which, all the magi and prophetic tribe broke their old confecrated phyfic* 
pots, and threw away all the other pretended holy things they had for phyfi 
cal ufe, imagining they had Joft their divine power by being polluted ; and 
fhared the common fate of their country. A great many killed themfelves ; 
for being naturally proud, they are always peeping into their looking glafles, 
and are never genteelly dreft, according to their mode, without carrying 
one hung over their moulders : by which means, feeing themfelves disfi 
gured, without hope of regaining their former beauty, fome fliot them 
felves, others 'Cut their throats, fome dabbed themfelves with, knives, and 
others with marp-pointed canes ; many threw themfelves with fuilen mad- 
nefs into the fire, and there flowly expired, as if they had been utterly 
divefted of the native power of feeling pain. 

I remember, in tymafe, one of their towns, about ten miles above the 
prefent Fort Prince-George, a great head-warrior, who murdered a white 
man thirty miles below Cheeowhee, as was proved by the branded deer- 
ikins he produced afterward when he faw himfelf disfigured by the 
frnall pox, he chofe to die, that he might end as he imagined his lhame. 
When his relations knew his defperate defign, they narrowly watched him, 
and took away every iharp inftrument from him. When he found he was 
balked of his intention, he fretted and faid the word things their language 

H h could 

'*#* Account of the Cheerake Nativn*. 

could exprcfs, and (hewed all the fymptoms of a defperate perfon enraged at 
his difappointment, and forced to live and fee his ignominy ; he then 
darted himfelf againft the wall, with all his remaining vigour,. his 
ftrength being expended by the force of his friends oppofition, he fell: 
fullenly on the bed, as if by thofe violent ftruggles he was overcome, and 
wanted to repofe himfelf. His relations' through tendernefs, left him to 
his reft but as foon as they went away, he raifed himfelf, and after a 
tedious fearch, finding nothing but a thick and round hoe-helve, he took 
the fatal inftrument,. and having fixed one end of it in the ground, he 
repeatedly threw himfelf on it, till he forced it down his throat,, wherv 
he immediately- expired. He was buried in filence, without the leait. 

Although the Cheerake fhe wed fuch little fkill in curing the fmall pox, yet 
they, as well as all other Indian nations, have a great knowledge of fpe- 
cific virtues in fimples ; applying herbs and plants, on the moft danger 
ous occafions, and feldom if ever, fail to effect a thorough cure, from 
the natural bulh. In the order of nature, every country and climate Is 
bled with fpecific remedies for the maladies that are connatural to it Na- 
turalifts tell us they have obferved, that when the wild goat's fight begins 
to decay, he rubs his head againft a thorn, and by fome effluvia, or 
virtue in the vegetable, the fight is renewed. Thus the fnake recovers 
after biting any creature, by his knowledge of the proper antidote -, and many 
of our arts and forms of living, are imitated by lower ranks of the ani 
mal creation : the Indians, inftigated by nature, and quickened by expe 
rience, have difcovered the peculiar properties of vegetables, as far as 
needful in their fituation of life. For my own part, I would prefer an old 
Indian before any chirurgeon whatfoever, in curing green wounds by. 
bullets, arrows,. &c. both for the certainty, eafe, and fpeedinefs of cure ; 
for if thofe parts of the body are not hurt, which are effential to the pre- 
fervation of life, they cure the wounded in a trice. They bring the pa 
tient into a good temperament of body, by a decoction of proper herbs 
and roots, and always enjoin a moft'abftemious life : they forbid them wo 
men, fait, and every kind of flelh-meat, applying mountain allum, as the 
thief ingredient. 

An Account of the Cheerake Nafh'n-. 

In the year 1749, I came down, by the invitation of the governor of 
South-Carolina, to Charles-Town, with a body of our friendly Chikkafah 
Indians : one of his majefty's furgeons, that very day we arrived, cut off 
the wounded arm of a poor man. On my relating it to the Indians, they were 
Ihocked at the information, and faid, " The man's poverty fhould have in 
duced him to exert the common (kill of mankind, in fo trifling an hurt ; 
cfpecially, as fuch a butchery would not only disfigure, but difable the 
poor man the reft of his life-, that there would have been more humanity 
in cutting off the head, than in fuch a barbarous amputation, becaufe it is 
much better for men to die once, than to be always dying, for when the 
hand is loft, how can the poor man feed himfelf by his daily labour By 
the fame rule of phyftc, had he been wounded in his head, our furgeons 
fhould have cut that off, for being unfortunate." I told the benevolent old 
warriors, that the wifdom of our laws had exempted the head from fuch 
fevere treatment, by not fettling a reward for the fevering it, but only fo 
much for every joint of the branches of the body, which might be well 
enough fpared, without the life; and that this medical treatment was a 
ilrong certificate to recommend the poor man to genteel lodgings, where 
numbers belonging to our great canoes, were provided for during life. 
They were of opinion however, that fuch brave hardy fellows would ra 
ther be deemed men, and work for their bread, than be laid afide, not only 
as ufelefs animals, but as burdens to the reft of fociety. 

I do not remember to have feen or heard of an Indian dying by the bite 
of a make, when out at war, or a hunting ; although they are then often 
bitten by the nrfoft dangerous fnakes every one carries in his fhot-ponch, 
a piece of the beft fnake-root, fuch as the Seneeka^ or fern-fnake-root,- 
or the wild hore-hound, wild plantain, St. Andrew's crofs, and a variety 
of other herbs and roots, which are plenty, and well known to thofe 
who range the American woods, and are expoied to fuch dangers, and will 
effect a thorough and fpeedy cure if timely applied. When an Indian per 
ceives he is ilruck by a fnake, he immediately chews fome of the root, 
and having fwallowed a fufficient quantity of it, he applies fome to the 
wound , which he repeats as occafion requires, and in proportion to the 
poifon the fnake has infufed into the wound. For a ihort fpace of time, 
-there is a terrible conflict through all the body, by the jarring qualities of 

H h 2 -the 

236 Ah Account of the Cheerake Nation. 

the burning poifon, and the ftrong antidote ; but the poifon is foon repelled 
through the fame channels it entered, and the patient, is cured. 

The Cheerake mountains look very formidable to a ftranger, when he is 
among their valleys, incireled with their prodigious, proud, contending 
tops-, they appear as a great mafs of black and blue clouds, interfperfed with, 
fome rays of light. But they produce, or contain every thing for health,, 
and wealth, and if cultivated by the rules of art, would furnifh perhaps,, 
as valuable medicines as the eaftern countries , and as great quantities o 
gold and filver, as Peru and Mexico, in proportion to their fituation 
with the aequator. On the tops of feveral of thofe mountains, I have 
obferved tufts of grafs deeply tinctured by the mineral exhalations from, 
the earth , and on the fides, they glittered from the fame caufe. If fkilfui 
alchymifts made experiments on thefe. mountains,, they could foon fatisfy 
themfelves, as to the value of their contents, and.probabJy would find their, 
account, ia it.. 

Within twenty miles of the lats Fort-Loudon, there is great plenty of 
whet-flones for razors, of red, white, and black colours. The filver mines, 
are fo rich, that by digging about ten yards deep, fome defperate vagrants 
found at fundry times, fo much rich ore, as to enable them to counterfeit 
dollars, to a great amount ; a horfe load of which was detected in paffing 
for the purchafe of negroes, at Augufta, which ftands on the fouth-fide of 
the meandering beautiful Savanah river, halfway from the Cheerake coun 
try, to Savanah, the capital of Georgia. The load-ilone is likewife found, 
there, but they have no fkill in fearching for it, only on the furface ;., 
a.greatdeal of the magnetic power is loft, as being expofed to the various 
changes of the weather, and frequent firing of the woods. I was told 
by a trader, who lives in the upper parts of the Cheerake country, which 
is furrounded on every fide, by prodigious piles of mountains called. 
Cheeowhee, that within about a. mile of the town of that name, there is a 
hill with a great plenty of load-ftones the truth of this any gentleman of 
curiofity may foon afcerrain, as it. lies on the northern path that leads from. 
South-Carolina, to the remains of Fort-Loudon : and while he is in fearch o 
this, he may at the fame time make a great acqueft of riches, for the load- 
is known. to accompany rich metals., I was once near that load-done 


An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 237 

hill, but the heavy rains which at that time fell on the deep fnow, pre 
vented the gratifying my curiofity, as the boggy deep creek was thereby 
rendered impaflable. 

In this rocky country, are found a great many beautiful, clear, chry- 
ftaline ftones, formed by nature into feveral angles, which commonly meet 
in one point : feveral of them are tranfparent, like a coarfe diamond^ 
others refemble the onyx, being engendered of black and thick hu 
mours, as we fee water that is tinctured with ink, flill keeping its fur- 
face clear. I found one ftone like a ruby, as big as the top of a man's 
thumb, with a beautiful dark fliade in the middle of it. Many ftones 
of various colours, and beautiful luftre, may be collected on the topy 
of thofe hills and mountains, which if fkilfully managed, would be very 
valuable, for fome of them are clear, and very hard. From which, we 
may rationally conjecture that a quantity of fubterranean treafures is 
contained there ; the Spaniards generally found out their fouthern mines, 
by fuch fuperficial indications. And it would be an ufeful, and profitable, 
fervice for fkilful artifts to engage in, as the prefent trading white favages 
are utterly ignorant of it. Manifold curious works of the wife author of 
nature, are bountifully difperfed through the whole of the country, ob 
vious to every curious eye. 

Among the mountains, are many labyrintfis, and fome of a great length*, 
with many branches, and various windings ; likewife different forts of 
mineral waters, the qualities of which are unknown to the natives, as 
by their temperate way of living, and the healthinefs of their country, 
they have no occafion to make experiments in them. Between the heads 
of the northern branch of the lower Cheerake river, and the heads of that 
of Tuckafehchee, winding round in a long courfe by the late Fort-Loudon, 
and afterwards into the Miffifippi, there is, both in the nature and circum- 
ftances, a great phenomenon Between two high mountains, nearly co 
vered with old moffy rocks, lofty cedars, and pines, in the valleys of which 
the beams of the fun reflect a powerful heat, there are, as the natives affirm, 
fome bright old inhabitants, or rattle fnakes, of a more enormous fize than is 
mentioned in hiftory. They are fo large and unwieldy, that they take a 
circle, almoft as wide as their length, to crawl round in their fhorteft orbit : 
but bountiful nature compenfates the heavy motion of their bodies, for 

Jin Account of the Cheerake Nation. 

;as they fay, no living creature moves within the- reach of their fight, 
but they can draw it to them ; which is agreeable to what 'we obfcrve, 
through the whole fyftem of animated beings. Nature endues them with 
proper capacities to fuftain life ; as they cannot fupport themfelves, by 
their fpeed, or -cunning to fpring from an ambufcade, it is needful they 
Ihould have the bewitching craft of their eyes and forked tongues. 

The defcription the Indians give us of their colour, is as various as what 
we are told of the camelion, that feems to the fpectator to change its 
colour, by every different petition he may view it in j which proceeds 
from the piercing rays of light that blaze from their foreheads, fo as 
to dazzle the eyes, from whatever quarter they pod themfelves for 
in each of their heads, there is a large carbuncle, which not only re 
pels, but they affirm, fullies the meridian beams of the fun. They reckon 
it fo dangerous to difturb thole creatures, that no temptation can in 
duce them to betray their fecret recefs to the prophane. They call them 
and all of the rattle-fnake kind, kings, or chieftains of the fnakes ; and 
they allow one fuch to every different fpecies of the brute creation. An 
old trader of Cheeowhee told me, that for the reward of two pieces 
of ftroud-cloth, he engaged a couple of young warriors to ihew him the 
place of their refort ; but the head-men would not by any means al 
low it, on account of a fuperftitious tradition for they fancy the kil 
ling of them would expofe them to the danger of being bit by the 
other inferior fpecies of that ferpentine tribe, who love their chieftains, 
.and know by inftincT: thofe who malicioufly killed them, as they fight 
only in their own defence, and that of their young ones, never biting 
thofe who do not difturb them. Although they efteem thofe rattle fnakes 
as chieftains of that fpecies, yet they do not deify them, as the Egyp 
tians did all the ferpentine kind, and likewife Ibis, that preyed upon them ; 
however, it feems to have fprung from the fame origin, for I once faw 
the Chikkafah Archi-magus to chew fome fnake-root, blow it on his 
hands, and then take up a rattle fnake without damage foon afterwards 
he laid it down carefully, in a hollow tree, left I mould have killed it. 
Once on the Chikkafah trading war-path, a little above the country of the 
Mufkohge, as I was returning to camp from hunting, I found in a large 
cane fwamp, a fellow-traveller, an old Indian trader, inebriated and 
naked, except his Indian breeches and maccaieenes ; in that habit he fat, 
I holding 

An Account of the Cheerake Nation.- 

Holding a great rattle-fnake round the neck, with his left hand be- 
fmeared with proper roots, and with the other, applying the roots to the 
teeth, in order to repel the poifon, before he drew them out 5 which having 
effected, he laid it down tenderly at a diftance. I then killed it, to his great 
diflike, as he was afraid it would occafion misfortunes to himfelf and 
me. I told him, as he had taken away its teeth, common- pity mould 
induce one to put it out of mifery, and that a charitable aft ion could never' 
bring ill on any one , but his education prevented his fears from fub- 
Tiding. On a Chriftmas-day, at the trading houfe of that harmlefs, brave, 
but unfortunate man, I took the foot of a guinea-deer out of his mot- 
pouch and another from my own partner, which they had very fafely 
fewed in the corner of each of their otter-fid n-pouches, to enable them, ac 
cording to the Indian creed,, to kill deer, bear, buffaloe, beaver, and' other- 
wild beads, in plenty : but they were fo infatuated with the Indian fuper- 
flitious belief of the power of that charm, that all endeavours of recon 
ciling them to reafon were ineffectual : I therefore returned them, for as 
they were Nimrods, or hunters of men, as well as of wild beads, I ima 
gined, I mould be anfwerable to myfelf for every accident that might befa! 
them, by depriving them of what they depended upon as their chief good, 
in that wild fphere of life. No wonder that the long-defolate favages of 
the far extending defarts of America, fhould entertain the former fuperftitious 
notions of ill luck by that, and good fortune by this ; as thofe of an early 
chriftian education, are fo foon impreft with the like opinions. The latter 
was killed on the old Chikkafah, or American-Flanders path, in company 
with another expert brave man, in the year 1745, by twenty Choktah fa 
vages, fet on by the chriftian French of Tumbikpe garrifon , in confequence 
of which, I ftaid by myfelf the following fummer-feafon, in the Chik 
kafah country, and when the reft of the trading people and all our horfes 
were gone down to the Englifti fettlements, I perfuaded the Choktah to 
take up the bloody tomohawk againft thofe perfidious French, in revenge 
of a long train of crying blood: and had it not been for the felf-interefbetT 
policy of a certain governor, thofe numerous favages, with the war-like 
Chikkafah, would have deftroyed the Miffifippi fettlements, root and branch, 
except thofe who kept themfelves clofely confined in garrifon. When 
I treat of the Choktah country, I fhall more particularly relate that very- 
material afltair, 

240 ~n Account of the Cheerake Nation. 

The fuperior policy of the French fo highly intoxicated the light heads 
of the Cheerake, that they were plodding mifchief for twenty years before 
we forced them to commit hoftilities. The illuftration of this may divert the 
reader, and fliew our fouthern colonies what they may ftill expect from the 
mafterly abilities of the French L-ouifianians, whenever they can make it 
fuit their intereft to exert their talents among the Indian nations, while 
our watch-men are only employed in treating on paper, in our far-diitant 
capital feats of government. 

In the year 1736, the French fent into South-Carolina, one Priber, a 
gentleman of a curious and fpeculative temper. He was to tranfmit them 
a full account of that country, and proceed to the Cheerake nation, in or 
der to feduce them from the Britim to the French intereft. He went, and 
though he was adorned with every qualification that conftitutes the gen 
tleman, foon after he arrived at the upper towns of this mountainous 
country, he exchanged his clothes and every thing he brought with him, 
and by that means, made friends with the head warriors of great Tel- 
liko, which flood on ,a branch of the Mifllfippi. More effectually to 
anfwer the defign of his commiffion, he ate, drank, flept, danced, dreffed, 
and painted himfelf, with the Indians, fo that it was not eafy to diflinguifh 
him from the natives, he married alfo with them, and being endued with a 
ftrong underftanding and retentive memory, he foon learned their dialect, 
and by gradual advances, imprefied them with a very ill opinion of the En- 
glifh, reprefenting them as a fraudulent, avaritious, and encroaching peo 
ple : he at the fame time, inflated the artlefs favages, with a prodigious 
high opinion of their own importance in the American fcale of power, on 
account of the fitua.tion of their country, their martial difpofition, and the 
great number of their warriors, which would baffle all the efforts of the am 
bitious, and ill-defigning Britifh colonifts. Having thus infected them by 
his fmooth deluding art, he eafily formed them into a nominal repub 
lican government - crowned their old Archi-magus, emperor, after a 
pleafmg new favage form, and invented a variety of high-founding titles for 
all the members of his imperial majefty's red court, and the great offi 
cers of ftate ; which the emperor conferred upon them, in a manner ac 
cording to their merit. He himfelf received the honourable title of his im 
perial majefty's principal fecretary of ftate, and as fuch he fubfcribed him 
felf, in all the letters he wrote to our government, and lived in open de 

An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 241 

fiance of them. This Teemed to be of fo dangerous a tendency, as 
to induce South-Carolina to fend up a commiffioner, Col. F x, to de 
mand him as an^ enemy to the public repofe who took him into cuftody, 
in the great fquare of their flate-houfe : when he had almoft concluded 
his oration on the occafion, one of the head warriors rofe up, and bade him 
forbear, as the man he entended t:o enflave, was made a great beloved 
man, and become one of their own people. Though it was reckoned, our 
agent's ftrength was far greater in his arms than his head, he readily de- 
fifted for as it is too hard to ftruggle with the pope in Rome, a ftranger 
could not mifs to find it equally difficult to enter abruptly into a new em 
peror's court, and there feize his prime minifter, by a foreign authority ; 
efpecially when he could not fnpport any charge of guilt againft him. The 
warrior told him, that the red people well knew the honefty of the fecreta- 
ry's heart would never allow him to tell a lie -, and the fecretary urged that 
he was a foreigner, without owing any allegiance to Great Britain, that he 
only travelled through fome places of their country, in a peaceable man 
ner, paying for every thing he had of them , that in compliance with the 
requeft of the kindly French, as well as from his own tender feelings for 
the poverty and'inifecure ftate of the Cheerake, he came a great way, and 
lived among them as a brother, only to preferve their liberties, by opening 
a water communication between them and New Orleans ; that the diftance of 
the two places from each other, proved his motive to be the love of doing 
good, efpecially as he was to go there, and bring up a fufficient number 
of Frenchmen of proper (kill to inftruct them in the art of making gun 
powder, the materials of which, he affirmed their lands abounded with. 
He concluded his artful fpeech, by urging that the tyrannical defign 
of the Englifh commiflioner toward him, appeared plainly to be levelled 
againft them, becaufe, as he was not accufed of having done any ill to the 
Englifh, before he came to the Cheerake, his crime muft confift in loving 
the Cheerake. And as that was reckoned fo heinous a tranfgrefiion in the 
eye of the Englifh, as to fend one of their angry beloved men to enflave 
him, it confirmed all thofe honeft fpeeches he had often fpoken to 
the prefent great war-chieftains, old beloved men, and warriors of each 

An old war-leader repeated to the commifTioner, the eflential part of the 
fpeech, and added more of his own fimilar thereto. He bade him to in- 

I i form 

242 An Account of the Cheerake Nation., 

form his fuperiors, that the Cheerake were as defirous as the Englifh to> 
continue a friendly union with each other, as " freemen and equals." Thats 
they hoped to receive no farther uneafmefs from them, for confulting their 
own interefts, as their reafon dictated, And they earneftly requefted them 
to fend no more of thofe bad papers to their country, on any account \ 
nor to reckon them fo bafe, as to allow any of their honeft friends to be 
taken out of their arms, and carried into flavery. The Englifh beloved 
man had the honour of receiving his leave of abfence, and a fufficient pafs- 
port of fafe conduit, from the imperial red court, by a verbal order of 
the fecretary of ftate, who was fo polite as to wifh him well home, and 
ordered a convoy of his own life-guards, who conducted him a confider- 
able way, and he got home in fafety. 

From the above, it is evident, that the monopolizing fpirit of the 
French had planned their dangerous lines of circumvallation, refpeding 
our envied colonies, as early as the before-mentioned period. Their choice 
of the man, befpeaks alfo their judgment. Though the philofophic fe 
cretary was an utter ftranger to the wild and mountainous Cheerake coun 
try, as well as to their language, yet his fagacity readily directed him 
to chufe a proper place, and an old favourite religious man, for the new 
red empire ; which he formed by flow, but Cure degrees, to the great 
danger of our fouthern colonies. But the empire received a very great 
fhock, in an accident that befel the fecretary, when it was on the point 
of rifmg into a far greater ftate of pui(Tance r by the acquifmon of the 
Mulkohge, Choktah, and the weftern Milfifippi Indians. In the fifth year 
of that red imperial sera, he fet off for Mobille, accompanied by a few 
Cheerake. He proceeded by land, as far as a navigable part of the 
weftern great river of the Mulkohge , there he went into a canoe pre 
pared for .the joyful occafion, and proceeded within a day's journey of 
Alebahma garrifon conjecturing the adjacent towns were under the 
influence of the French, he landed at Tallapoofe town, and lodged 
there all night. The traders of the neighbouring towns foon went 
there, convinced the inhabitants of the dangerous tendency of his un 
wearied labours among the Cheerake, and of his prefent journey, 
and then took him into cuftody, with a large bundle of manufcripts, and 
fent him down to Frederica in Georgia; the governor committed him 
to a place of confinement, though not with common felons, as he was 
a foreigner, and was faid to have held a place of confiderable rank in 


An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 243 

the army with great honour. Soon after, the magazine took fire, which 
was not far from where he was confined, and though the centinels bade 
him make off to a place of fafety, as all the people were running to 
avoid danger from the explofion of the powder and (hells, yet he fquatted 
on his belly upon the floor, and continued in that pofition, without the 
lead hurt : feveral blamed his rafhnefs, but he told them, that experience 
had convinced him, it was the mod probable means to avoid imminent 
danger. This incident difplayed the philofopher and foldier, and after 
bearing his misfortunes a confiderable time with great conftancy, hap 
pily for us, he died in confinement, though he deferved a much bet 
ter fate. In the firft year of his fecretarylhip I maintained a correfpond- 
ence with him ; but the Indians becoming very inquifitive to know the 
contents of our marked large papers, and he fufpecting his memory 
might fail him in telling thole cunning fifters of truth, a plaufible ftory, 
and of being able to repeat it often to them, without any variation, 
he took the morteft and fafeft method, by telling them that, in the very 
fame manner as he was their great fecretary, I was the devil's clerk, or an 
accurfed one who marked on paper the bad fpeech of the evil ones of 
darknefs. Accordingly, they forbad him writing any more to fuch an ac 
curfed one, or receiving any of his evil-marked papers, and our corre- 
fpondence ceafed. As he was learned, and poflefled of a very fagacious 
penetrating judgment, and had every qualification that was requifite for 
his bold and difficult enterprize, it is not to be doubted, that as he wrote 
a Cheerake dictionary, defigned to be publifhed at Paris, he likewife fet 
down a great deal that would have been very acceptable to the curious, and 
ferviceable to the reprefentatives of South-Carolina and Georgia ; which 
may be readily found in Frederica, if the manufcripts have had the good 
fortune to efcape the defpoiling hands of military power. 

When the weftern Cheerake towns loft the chief fupport of their impe 
rial court, they artfully agreed to inform the Englifh traders, that each of 
them had opened their eyes, and rejected the French plan as a wild fcheme, 
inconfiftent with their interefts , except great Telliko, the metropolis of their 
late empire, which they faid was firmly refolved to adhere to the French 
propofals, as the fureft means of promoting their welfare and happinefs. 
Though the inhabitants of this town were only dupes to the reft, yet for 

I i 2 the 

244 ^ n Account of the Cheerake Nation. 

the fake of the imagined general good of the country, their conftancy 
enabled them to ufe that difguife a long time, in contempt of the Englifh, 
till habit changed into a real hatred of the object, what before was only 
fictitious. They correfponded with the French in the name of thcrfe feven 
towns, which are the mod warlike part of .the nation: and they were fo 
flrongly prepoffeflfed with the notions their beloved fecretary had infufed. 
into their heads, in that early weak date of Louifiana, that they had re- 
folved to remove, and fettle fo low down their river, as the French boats 
could readily bring them a fupply. But the hot war they fell into with the 
northern Indians, made them poftpone the execution of that favourite de- 
fign i and the fettling of Fort London, quieted, them a little, as they 
expected to get prefents, and fpirituous liquors there, according to the 
manner of the French promifes, of which they had great plenty. 

The French, to draw off the weftern towns, had given them repeated 
aflurances of fettling a ftrong garrifon on the north fide "of their river, 
as high up as their large pettiaugres could be brought with fafety, where 
there was a large tract of rich lands abounding with game and fowl, and 
the river with fifh. They at the fame time promifed to procure a firm- 
peace between the Cheerake and all the Indian nations depending on the 
French -, and to beftov/ on them powder, bullets, flints, knives, fciflars,, 
combs, fhirts, looking glafies, and red paint, befide favourite trifles to 
the fair fex: in the fame brotherly manner the Alebahma French ex 
tended their kindly hands to their Mufkohge brethren. By their affiduous 
endeavours, that artful plan was well fupported, and though the fituation of 
our affairs, in the remote, and leading Cheerake towns, had been in a 
ticklifti fituation, from the time their project of an empire was formed ; 
and though feveral other towns became uneafy and difcontented on fun- 
dry pretexts, for the fpace of two years before the unlucky occafion of 
the fucceeding war happened yet his excellency our governor neglected 
the proper meafures to reconcile the wavering favages, till the gentleman 
who was appointed to fucceed him, had juft reached the American coaft : 
then, indeed, he fet off, with a confiderable number of gentlemen, in 
flourifliing parade, and went as far as Ninety- fix * fettlement ; from 
whence, as moft probably he expected, he was fortunately recalled, and 
joyfully fuperfeded. I faw him on his way up, and plainly obferved he 
was unprovided for the journey ; it muft unavoidably have proved abortive 

* So called from ics diftance of miles from the Cheerake. 


An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 245 

before he could have proceeded through the Cheerake country, gratifying 
the inquifitive difpofidon of the people, as he went, and quieting the jealous 
minds of the inhabitants of thofe towns, who are fettled among the Apa- 
lahche mountains, and thofe feven towns, in particular, that lie beyond 
them. He neither fent before, nor carried with him, any prefents where 
with to foothe the natives ; and his kind promifes, and fmooth fpeeches, 
would have weighed exceedingly light in the Indian fcale. 

Having fhewn the bad (late of our affairs among the remotefl parts of 
the Cheerake country, and the caufes. I (hall now relate their plea, for 
commencing war againft the Britim\ colonies ; and the great danger we 
were expofed to by the incefiant intrigues of the half-favage French garri- 
fons, in thofe hot times, when all our northern barriers were fo prodigioufly 
harrafled. Several companies of the Cheerake, who joined our forces un 
der General Stanwix at the unfortunate Ohio, affirmed that their alienation 
from us, was becaufe they were confined to our martial arrangement, by 
tinjuft fufpicion of them were very much contemned, and half ftarved 
at the main camp : their hearts told them therefore to return home, as 
freemen and injured allies, though without a fupply of provifions. This 
they did, and pinching hunger forced them to take as much as barely 
fupported nature, when returning to their own country. In their journey, 
the German inhabitants, without any provocation, killed in cool blood about 
forty of their warriors, in different places though each party was under 
the command of a Britim fubjeft. They fcalped all, and butchered feveral, 
after a mod mocking manner, in imitation of the barbarous war-cuftom 
of the favages ; fome who efcaped the carnage, returned at night, to fee 
their kindred and war-companions, and reported their fate. Among thofe 
who were thus treated, fome were leading men, which had a dangerous ten 
dency to difturb the public quiet.. We were repeatedly informed, by pub 
lic accounts, that thofe murderers were fo audacious as to impofe the 
fcalps on the government for thofe of French Indians ; and that they ac 
tually obtained the premium allowed at that time by law in fuch a cafe. 
Although the vindictive difpofition of Indians in general, impetuoufly 
forces them on in queft of equal revenge for blood, without the leaft 
thought of confequences ; yet as a mifunderftanding had fubfifted fome time, 
between feveral diftant towns, and thofe who chanced to lofe their peo 
ple in Virginia, the chiefs of thofe families being afraid of a civil war, 


246 An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 

in cafe of a rupture with us, difluaded the furious young warriors from 
commencing hoftilities againft us, till they had demanded fatisfaction, 
agreeable to the treaty of friendmip between them and our colonies ; which 
if denied, they -would fully take of their own accord, as became a free, 
warlike, and injured people. In this date, the affair lay, for the belt part 
of a year, without our ufing any proper conciliating meafures, to prevent 
the threatening impending ftorm from dcftroying us : during that interval, 
they earneftiy applied to Virginia for fatisfaction, without receiving any ; 
in like manner to North-Carolina , and afterwards to South-Carolina, with 
the fame bad fuccefs. And there was another incident at Fort Prince- 
George, which fet fire to the fuel, and kindled it into a raging flame : three 
light-headed, diforderly young 'officers of that garrifon, forcibly violated 
fome of their wives, and in the mod (hamelefs manner, at their own houfes, 
while the hufbands were making their winter hunt in the woods and which 
infamous conduct they madly repeated, but a few months before the 
commencement of the war : in other refpects, through a haughty over 
bearing fpirit, they took pleafure in infulting and abufing the natives, when 
they paid a friendly vifit to trie garrifon. No wonder that fuch a behaviour, 
caufed their revengeful tempers to burft forth into action. When the In 
dians find no redrefs of grievances, they never fail to redrefs themfelves, 
cither fooner or later. But when they begin, they do not know where to 
end. Their third for the blood of their reputed enemies, is not to be 
quenched with a few drops. The more they drink, the more it inflames 
their third. When they dip their finger in human blood, they are reftlefs 
till they plunge themfelves in it. 

Contrary to the wife conduct of the French garrifons in fecuring the af 
fection of the natives where they are fettled our fons of Mars imbittered 
the hearts of thofe Cheerake, that lie next to South-Carolina and Georgia 
colonies, againft us, with the mid fettlements and the weftern towns on the 
dreams of the Mifiifippi : who were fo incenfed as continually to upbraid 
the traders with our unkind treatment of their people in the camp at Mo- 
nongahela, and for our having committed fuch hodilities againd our good 
friends, who were peaceably returning home through our fettlements, and 
often under pinching wants. The lying over their dead, and the wailing 
of the women in their various towns, and tribes, for their deceafed rela 
tions, at the dawn of day, and in the dufk of the evening, proved another 
ftrong provocative to them to retaliate blood for blood. The Mufkohge 


An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 247 

al'fo at that time having a friendly intercourfc with the Cheerake, through 
the channel of the governor of South-Carolina, were, at the inftance of 
the watchful French, often ridiculing them for their cowardice in noc re 
venging the crying blood of their beloved kinfmen and warriors. At the 
fame time, they promifed to aflift them againft us, and in the name of the 
Alebahma French, aiTu red them of a fupply of ammunition, to enable them 
to avenge their injuries, and maintain their lives and liberties againft the 
mifchievous and bloody Englifh coloniftsj who, they laid, were naturally 
in a bitter ftate of war againft all the red people, and iludied only how to 
fteal their lands, on a quite oppofite principle to the open fteady con 
duct of the generous French, who affift their poor red brothers, a great 
way from their own fettlements, where they can have no view, but that 
of doing good. Notwithftanding the repeated provocations we had given 
to the Cheerake, and the artful infmuations of the French, inculcated with 
proper addrefs ; yet their old chiefs not wholly depending on the fincerity of 
their fmooth tongues and painted faces, nor on the affiftance, or even 
neutrality of the remote northern towns of their own country, on mature 
deliberation, concluded that, as all hopes of a friendly redrefs for the blood 
of their relations now depended on their own hands, they ought to take re 
venge in that equal and juft manner, which became good warriors. They 
accordingly fent out a large company of warriors, againft thofe Germans, 
(or Tied-arfe people, as they term them) to bring in an equal number of their 
fcalps, to thofe of their own murdered relations. Or if they found their 
fafety did not permit, they were to proceed as near to that fettlement, as they 
conveniently could, where having taken fufficient fatisfaclion, they were to 
bury the bloody tomohawk they took with them. 7'hey fet off", but ad 
vancing pretty far into the high fettlements of North-Carolina, the ambi 
tious young leaders feparated into fmall companies, and killed as many of 
our people, as unfortunately fell into their power, contrary to the wife or 
ders of their feniors, and the number far exceeded that of their own 
(lain. Soon after they returned home, they killed a reprobate old tra 
der ; and two foldiers alfo were cut off near Fort 'London. For thefe acts 
of hoftility, the government of South-Carolina demanded fatisfaftion, with 
out receiving any -, the hearts of their young warriors were ib exceed 
ingly enraged, as to render their ears quite deaf to any remonftrance 
of their feniors, refpecling an amicable accommodation ; for as they ex 
pected to be expofed to very little danger, on our remote, difperfed, and 
3 very. 

248 An Account of the Cheerake Nation* 

very extenfive barrier fettlements, nothing but war-fongs and war-dances 
could pleafe them, during this flattering period of becoming great war 
riors, "by killing fwarms of white dung-hill fowls, in the corn-fields, and 
afleep," according to their war-phrafe. 

Previous to this alarming crifis, while the Indians were applying to our 
colonies for that fatisfaction, which our laws could not allow them, without 
a large contribution of white fcalps, from Tyburn, with one living cri 
minal to fuffer death before their eyes, his excellency William Henry 
Lyttleton, governor of South-Carolina, ftrenuoufly exerted himfelf in pro 
viding for the fafety of the colony , regardlefs of fatigue, he vifited its 
extenfive barriers, by land and water, to have them put in as refpectable a 
condition, as circumftances could admit, before the threatening ftorm broke 
out : and he ordered the militia of the colony, under a large penalty, to be 
trained to arms, by an adjutant general, (the very worthy Col. G. P.) who 
faw thofe manly laws of defence duly executed. We had great pleafure 
to fee his excellency on his fummer's journey, enter the old famous New- 
Windfor garrifon, like a private gentleman, without the leaft parade ; and 
he proceeded in his circular courfe, in the fame retired eafy manner, without 
incommoding any of the inhabitants. He fully teftified, his fole aim was 
the fecurity and welfare of the valuable country over which he prefided, 
without imitating the mean felf-interefted artifice of any predeceffor. At 
the capital feat of government, he bufily employed himfelf in extending, 
and protecting trade, the vital part of a maritime colony ; in redreffing old 
neglected grievances, of various kinds ; in punifhing corruption wherefo- 
ever it was found, beginning at the head, and proceeding equally to 
the feet , and in protecting virtue, not by the former cobweb-laws, but 
thofe of old Britifh extraction. In fo laudable a manner, did that public- 
fpirited governor exert his powers, in his own proper fphere of action : 
but on an object much below it, he failed, by not knowing aright the tem 
per and cuftoms of the favages. 

The war being commenced on both fides, by the aforesaid complicated 
caufes, it continued for fome time a partial one : and according to the well- 
known temper of the Cheerake in fimilar cafes, it might either have re 
mained fo, or foon have been changed into a very hot civil war, had we 
2 been 

An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 249 

been fo wife as to have improved the favourable opportunity. There were 
feven northern towns, oppofite to the middle parts of the Cheerake coun 
try, who from the beginning of the unhappy grievances, firmly difiented 
from the hoftile intentions of their fuffering and enraged country-men, and 
for a confiderable time before, bore them little good-will, on account of 
fome family difputes, which occafioned each party to be more favourable 
to itfelf than to the other : Thefe, would readily have gratified their vin- 
dicVive difpofition, either by a neutrality, or an ofifenfive alliance with 
our colonifts againlt them. Our rivals the French, never neglected fo fa 
vourable an opportunity of fecuring, and promoting their interefts. We 
have known more than one inftance, wherein their wifdom has not only 
found out proper means to difconcert the moft dangerous plans of dif- 
affected favages, but likewife to foment, and artfully encourage great ani- 
mofities between the heads of ambitious rival families, till they fixed them 
in an implacable hatred againft each other, and all of their refpective tribes. 
Had the French been under fuch circumftances, as we then were, they 
would inftantly have fent them an embafly by a proper perfon, to enforce it 
by the perfuafive argument of intereft, well fupported with prefents to all 
the leading men, in order to make it weigh heavy in the Indian fcale ; 
and would have invited a number of thofe towns to pay them a brotherly 
vifit, whenever it fuited them, that they might make hands, fmokeout of the 
white, or beloved pipe, and drink phyfic together, as became old friends 
of honed hearts, &c. 

Had we thus done, many valuable and innocent perfons' might have been 
faved from the torturing hands of the enraged Indians ! The favourite lead 
ing warrior of thofe friendly towns, was well known to South-Carolina 
and Georgia, by the trading name " Round 0." on account of a blue 
impreilion he bore in that form. The fame old, brave, and friendly war 
rior, depending firmly on our friendfhip and ufual good faith, came down 
within an hundred miles of Charles-town, along with the head-men, and 
many others of thofe towns, to declare to the government, an inviola 
ble attachment to all our Britifh colonies, under every various circumftance 
of life whatfoever , and at the fame time, earneftly to requeft them to fup- 
ply their prefent want of ammunition, and order the commanding officer of 
Fort-Prince-George to continue to do them the like fervice, when necefiity 
fliould force them to apply for it -, as they were fully determined to war 

Kk to 

250 An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 

to the very laft, againft all the enemies of Carolina, without regarding who- 
they were, or the number they confided of. This they told me on the 
fpot ; for having been in a fingular manner recommended to his excellency 
the general, I was pre-engaged for that campaign but as I could not ob 
tain orders to go a-head of the army, through the woods, with a body of 
the Chikkafah, and commence hoftilities, I declined the affair. Had our 
valuable, and well-meaning Cheerake friends juft mentioned, acted their 
ufual part of evading captivity, it would have been much better for them, 
and many hundreds of our unfortunate out-fettlers ; but they depending on 
our ufnal good faith, by their honeft credulity were ruined. It was well- 
known, that the Indians are unacquainted with the cuftom and meaning 
of hoftages ; to them, it conveyed the idea of flaves, as they have no pub 
lic faith to fecure the lives of fuch yet they were taken into cuftody, 
kept in clofe confinement, and afterwards fliot dead : their mortal crime 
confifted in founding the war-whoop, and hollowing to their countrymen,, 
when attacking the fort in which they were imprifoned, to fight like 
flrong-hearted warriors, and they would foon carry it, againft the cowardly 
traitors, who deceived and inflaved their friends in their own beloved conn- 
try. A white favage on this cut through a plank, over their heads, and 
perpetrated that horrid action, while the foldiery were employed like war 
riors, againft the enemy : to excufe his bafenefs, and fave himfelf from the 
reproaches of the people, he, like the wolf in the fable, falfely accufed 
them of intending to poifon the wells of the garrifon. 

By our uniform mifconduct, we gave too plaufible a plea to the difaf- 
fected part of the Mufkohge to join the Cheerake, and at the fame time, 
fixed the whole, nation in a ftate of war againft us all the families of 
thofe leading men that were fo ihamefully. murdered, were inexpreffibly. 
imbittered againft our very national name, judging that we firft de 
ceived, then inflaved, and afterwards killed our beft, and moft faithful 
friends, who were firmly refolved to die in our defence. The means of 
our general fafety, thus were turned to our general ruin. The mixed 
body of people that were firft fent againft them, were too weak to do them, 
any ill ; and they foon returned home with a wild, ridiculous parade., 
There were frequent defertions among them fome were afraid of the fmall- 
pox, which then raged in the country others abhorred an inactive life j 
this fine filken body chiefly confifted of citizens and planters from the 
low (Settlements, unacquainted with the hardihips of a wood-land, fa- 
3 vage 

An Account of tie Cheerake Nation. 251 

vage war, and in cafe of an ambufcade attack, were utterly incapable of 
Handing the (hock. In Georgiana, we were allured by a gentleman of cha 
racter, a principal merchant of Mobil!?, who went a voluntier on that 
expedition, that toward the conckifion of it, when he went round the 
delicate camp, in wet weather, and late at night, he faw in different places 
from fifteen to twenty of their guns in a clufter, at the diftance of an equal 
number of paces from their tents, feemingly fo rufty and peaceable, as the 
lofs of them by the ufual fudden attack of Indian favages, could not in the 
leaft affect their lives. And the Cheerake nation were fenfible of their inno 
cent intentions, from the difpofition of the expedition in fo late a feafon of the 
year : but their own bad fituation by the ravaging fmall-pox, and the dan 
ger of a civil war, induced the lower towns to lie dormant. However, foon 
after our people returned home, they firmly united in the generous caufe of 
liberty, and they acted their part fo well, that our traders fufpected not the 
impending blow, till the moment they fatally felt it : fome indeed efcaped . 
by the affiftance of the Indians. In brief, we forced the Cheerake to be-/- 
come our bitter enemies, by a long train of wrong mealures, the confe- 
quences of which were feverely felt by a number of high affeffed, ruined, 
and bleeding innocents May this relation, be a lading caution to our co 
lonies againft the like fatal errors ! and induce them, whenever neceflity 
compels, to go well prepared, with plenty of fit ftores, and men, againft any 
Indian nation, and firft defeat, and then treat with them. It concerns us to 
remember, that they neither mew mercy to thofe who fall in their power, 
by the chance of war -, nor keep good faith with their enemies, unlefs 
they are feelingly convinced of its reafonablenefs, and civilly treated after 

Had South-Carolina exerted herfelf in due time againft them, as her fitua 
tion required, it would have faved a great deal of innocent blood, and pub 
lic treafure : common fenfe directed them to make immediate preparations 
for carrying the war into their country, as the only way to conquer them ; 
but they ftrangely neglected fending war-like ftores to Ninety-fix, our only 
barrier-fort, and even providing horfes and carriages for that needful occa- 
fion, till the troops they requefted arrived from New-York : and then they 
fent only a trifling number of thofe, and our provincials, under the gal 
lant Col. Montgomery, (now Lord Eglington). His twelve hundred brave, 
hardy highlanders, though but a handful, were much abler, however, to 

K k 2 fight 

2 $2 An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 

fight the Indians in their country than fix thoufand heavy-accoutered and flow- 
moving regulars : for thefe, with our provincials, could both fight and pur- 
fue, while the regulars would always be furrounded, and ftand a fure and 
mining mark. Except a certain provincial captain who efcorted the cattle, 
every officer and private man in this expedition, imitated the intrepid copy 
of their martial leader j but being too few in number, and withal, fcanty 
of provifions, and having loft many men at a -narrow pafs, called Crow's 
Creek, where the path leads by the fide of a river, below a dangerous 
fteep mountain, they proceeded only a few mile?, to a fine fituated 
town called Nuquofe , and then wifely retreated under cover of the night, 
toward Fort-Prince-George, and returned to Charles-town, in Auguft 1760. 
Seven months after the Cheerake commenced hoftilities, South-Caro 
lina by her ill-timed parfimony again expofed her barriers to the merci- 
lefs ravages of the enraged Indians who reckoning themfelves alfo fupe- 
rior to any refiftanee we could make, fwept along the valuable out-fettle- 
ments of North-Carolina and Virginia, and like evil ones licenfed to deftroy, 
ruined every thing near them. The year following, .Major Grant, the 
prefent governor of Eaft-Florida, was fent againft them with an army of re 
gulars and provincials, and happily for him, the Indians were then in great 
want of ammunition: they therefore only appeared, and fuddenly difap- 
peared. From all probable circumstances, had the Cheerake been fufficiently 
fupplied with ammunition, twice the number of troops could not have de 
feated them, on account of the declivity of their (lupendous mountain?,, 
under which their paths frequently run; the Virginia troops likewile kept 
far off in flourilhing parade, without coming to our afliftance, or making 
a diverfion againft thofe warlike towns which lie beyond the Apalahche- 
mountains, - the chief of which are, 'Tmmfe^ Choate^ Great-^elliko^ and, 

At the beginning of the late Cheerake war, I had the pleafure to 
fee, at Augufta in Georgia^, the honourable gentleman, who was our firlb 
Indian fuper-intendant , he was on his way to the Mufkohge country,. 
to pacify their ill dilpofidon toward us,, which had irritated the Chee 
rake, and engaged them in a firm confederacy againft us. They had. 
exchanged their bloody tomohawks, and red and black painted fvvans. 
wings, a ftrong emblem of blood and death, in confirmation of their 
offenfive and defenfiv.e treaty. But, notwithftanding our dangerous fitu- 
ation ought to have directed any gentleman worthy of public truft, to 


An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 253 

have immediately proceeded to their country, to regain the hearts of thofe 
fickle and daring favages, and thereby elude the deep-laid plan of the 
French; and though Indian runners were frequency fent down by our old 
friendly head-men, urging the abfolute neceflity of his coming up foon, 
otherwife it would be too late he trifled away near half a year there, and 
in places adjoining, in raifing a body of men with a proud uniform drefs, 
for the fake of parade, and to efcort him from danger, with fwivels, blun- 
derbuflcs, and many other fuch forts of blundering fluff", before he pro 
ceeded on his journey. This was the only way to expofe the gentleman to 
real danger, by {"hewing at fuch a time, a diffidence of the natives which 
he accordingly effected, merely by his pride, obftinacy, and unfkilful- 
nefs. It is well known, the whole might have been prevented, if he had 
liftened to the entreaties of the Indian traders of that place, to requeft one 
(who would neither refule, nor delay to ferve his country on any important 
occafion) to go in his ftcad, as the dangerous fituation of our affairs de 
manded quick difpatch. But pride prevented, and he flowly reached there, 
after much time was loft.. 

The artful French commander, had in the mean while a very good op^- 
portunity to diftraclj the giddy favages, and he wifely took advantage of 
the delay, and perfuaded a confiderable body of the Shawano Indians to fly 
to the northward, as our chief was affirmed to be coming with an army 
and train of artillery to cut them off, in revenge of the blood they had 
formerly fpilled. We foon heard, that in their way, they murdered a great 
many of the Britifh fubjecls, and with the moft defpiteful eagernefs com 
mitted their, bloody ravages. during the whole war. 

After the head-men of that far-extending country, were convened 'to* 
know the import of our intendants long-expefted embafly, he detained 
them from day to day with his parading grandeur; not ufing the 
Indian friendly freedom, either to the red, or white people, till provi* 
fions grew fcanty. Then their hearts were imbittered againft him, whila 
the French Alebahma commander was bufy, in taking time by the fore 
lock. But the former, to be uniform in his {liff, haughty conducl 1 ;, 
crowned the whole, in a longer delay, and almoft gained a. fuppofed 
crown of martydom, by prohibiting, in an obftinate manner, all the 
war-chieftains and beloved men then affembled together in the great 
beloved fquare, from handing. the friendly white, pipe to a certain great 

254 dn Account of the Cheerake Nation. 

war-leader, well-known by the names of Tab-Tab-Tuftanage, or " the Great 
Mortar," becaufe he had been in the French intereft. Our great man, ought 
to have reclaimed him by ftrong reafoning and good treatment : but by his 
mifconduct, he inflamed the hearts of him and his relations with the bit- 
terefl enmity againft the Englifh name, fo that when the gentleman was 
proceeding in his laconic ftile, a warrior who had always before been 
very kind to the Britifh traders, (called " the Tobacco-eater" on account of 
his chewing tobacco) jumped up in a rage, and darted his tomohawk at his 
head, happily for all the traders prefent, and our frontier colonies, it funk 
in a plank directly over the fuperintendant , and while the tobacco-eater 
was eagerly pulling it out, to give the mortal blow, a warrior, friendly 
to the Englim, immediately leaped up, faved the gentleman, and pre 
vented thofe dangerous confequences which muft otherwife have imme 
diately followed. Had the aimed blow fuceeded, the favages would have 
immediately put up the war and death whoop, deftroyed moft of the 
white people there on the fpot, and fet off in great bodies, both to the 
Cheerake country, and againft our valuable fettlements. Soon after that- 
gentleman returned to Carolina, the Great Mortar perfuaded a party of 
his relations to kill our traders, and they murdered ten ; very for 
tunately, it flopped there for that time. But at the clofe of the great 
congrefs at Augufta, where four governors of our colonies, and his ma- 
jefty's fuperintendant, convened the favages and renewed and con 
firmed the treaty of peace, the fame difaffeeled warrior returning home, 
fent off a party, who murdered fourteen of the inhabitants of Long-Cane 
fettlement, above Ninety-Six. The refult of that dangerous congrefs, 
tempted the proud favages to act fuch a part, as they were tamely forgiven, 
and unafked, all their former fcenes of blood. 

During this diftracled period, the French ufed their utmoft endeavours to 
involve us in a general Indian war, which to have faved South-Carolina and 
Georgia, would probably have required the afliftance of a confiderable number 
of our troops from Canada. They drove to fupply the Cheerake, by 
way of the Miffifippi, with warlike {lores -, and alfo fent them powder, 
bullets, flints, knives, and red paint, by their (launch friend, the dif- 
affected Great Mortar, and his adherents. And though they failed in 
executing their mifchievous plan, both on account of the manly efcape of 
our traders, and the wife conduct of thofe below, they did not defpair. 
Upon ftudious deliberation, they concluded, that, if the aforefaid chieftain 


An Account of the Cheerake Nation. 255 

Tab Tab ^ufianage, his family, and warriors, fettled high up one of their 
leading rivers, about half way toward the Cheerake, it would prove the 
only means then left, of promoting their general caufe againft the Britim 
colonifts : And, as the lands were good for hunting, the river (hallow, 
and abounding with faltifh grafs, for the deer to feed on in the heat of the 
day, free of troublefome infects, and as the ftream glided by the Ale- 
bahma garrifon to Mobille, at that time in the French hands, it could not 
well fail to decoy a great many of the ambitious young warriors, and 
others, to go there and join our enemies, on any occafion which ap 
peared moft conducive to their defign of ihedding blood, and getting 
a higher name among their wolfilh heroes. He and his numerous pack, 
confident of fuccefs, and of receiving the French fupplies by water, fet 
off for their new feat, well loaded, both for their Cheerake friends 
and themfelves. He had a French commiffion, with plenty of bees-wax, 
and decoying pictures ; and a flourifhing flag, which in dry weather, 
was difplayed day and night, in the middle of their anti-anglican theatre. 
It in a great meafure anfwered the ferpentine defign of the French, for 
it became the general rendezvous of the Miffifippi Indians, the Chee 
rake, and the more mifchievous part of the Mufkohge. The latter became 
the French carriers to thole high-land favages : and had they received 
the ammunition fent them by water, and that neft been allowed to con 
tinue, we Ihotild have had the French on our fouthern colonies at the: 
head of a dreadful confederated army of favages, carrying defolation 
where-ever they went. But, the plan mifcarried, our friendly gallant 
Chikkafah, being well informed of the ill defign of this neft of hor 
nets, broke it up. A confiderable company of their refolute warriors 
marched againft it ; and, as they readily knew the place of the Great Mortar's- 
refidence, they attacked it, and though they mifled him, they killed his bro 
ther. This, fo greatly intimidated him, and his clan, that they fuddenly 
removed from thence -, and their favourite plan was abortive. When he 
got near to a place of fafety, he (hewed how highly irritated he was againft 
us, and our allies. His difappointment, and difgrace, prevented him from 
returning to his own native town, and excited him to fettle in the remoteft, 
and moft northern one of the whole nation, toward the Cheerake, in order 
to aflift them, (as far as the French, and his own corroding temper 
might enable him) againft the innocent objects of his enmity: and 
during the continuance of the war we held with thofe favages, he and a. 


256 An Account vf the Cheerake Nation. 

numerous party of his adherents kept palling, and repaying, from thence 
to the bloody theatre. They were there, as their loud infnlting bravadoes 
teftified, during our two before-mentioned campaigns, under the Hon. Col. 
Montgomery, and Major Grant. The wife endeavours of Governor Bull, 
of South-Carolina, and the unwearied application of Governor Ellis, of 
Georgia, in concert with the gentlemen of two great trading houfes, the 
one at Augufta, and the other on the Carolina fide of the river, not far 
below, where the Indians crowded day and night, greatly contributed to 
demolifh the plan of the French and their ally, the Great Mortar. 

When public fpirit, that divine fpark, glows in the breaft of any of the 
American leaders, it never fails to communicate its influence, all around, 
even to the favages in the remoteft wildernefs j of which Governor Ellis 
is an illuftrious inftancc. He fpeedily reconciled a jarring colony calmed 
the raging Mufkohge, though fet on by the milchievous Alebdhma French, 
pacified the Cheerake, and the reft of their confederates fent them off 
well pleafed, without executing their bafe defign, and engaged them into a 
neutrality. The following, is one inftance As foon as the Indians killed 
our traders, they fent runners to' call home their people, from our fettle- 
ments : a friendly head warrior, who had notice of it at night, near Au 
gufta, came there next day with a few more, exprefled his forrow for the 
mifchief his countrymen had done us, protefted he never had any ill inten 
tions againft us, and faid that, though by the law of blood, he ought to 
die, yet, if we allowed him to live as a friend, he mould live and die 
one. Though thoufands of regular troops would moft probably have 
been totally cut off, had they been where the intended general mafifa- 
cre began, without an efcortment of our provincials -, yet an unfkilful, 
haughty officer of Fort-Augufta laboured hard for killing this wairror, and 
his companion, which of courfe, would have brought on what the enemy 
fought, a complicated, univerfal war. But his excellency's humane tem 
per, and wife conduft, actuating the Indian trading gentlemen of Augufta, 
they fuffered him to fet off to ftrive to prevent the further effufion of in 
nocent blood, and thus procured the happy fruits of peace, to the infant 
olonies of Georgia and South-Carolina. 


[ 257 ] 



M U S K O H G E N A T I O N, &c. 

THEIR country is fituated, nearly in the centre, between the Chee- 
rake, Georgia, Eaft and Weft-Florida, and the Choktah and Chik- 
kafah nations, the one 200, and the other 300 miles up the Miflifippi. It 
extends 180 computed miles, from north to fouth. It is called the Creek 
country, on account of the great number of Creeks, or fmall bays, rivulets 
and fwamps, it abounds with. This nation is generally computed to con- 
fift of about 3500 men fit to bear arms-, and has fifty towns, or villages. 
The principal are Ok-wbtis-ke, Ok- chat, Tuk-ke-bat-che, Tal-la-fe, Kow-be- 
fab, and Cha-hdh. The nation cor.fifts of a mixture of feveral broken 
tribes, whom the Mufkohge artfully decoyed to incorporate with them, in 
order to ftrengthen themfelves againft hoftile attempts. Their former na 
tional names were Ta-me-tah^ Tae-keo-ge^ Ok-cbai, Pak-kd-na^ Wee-tam-kcr\ 
with them is alfo one town of the Ska-wa-no, and one of the Nah-cbee In 
dians ; likewife two great towns of the Koo-a-fdb-te. The upper part of the 
Mufkohge country is very hilly the middle lefs fo the lower towns, level : 
'Thefe are fettled by the remains of the Oofecha^ Okone, and Sawakola nations. 
Mod of their towns are very commodioufly and pleafantly fituated, on 
large, beautiful creeks, or rivers, where the lands are fertile, the water clear 
and well tafted, and the air extremely pure. As the dreams have a quick 
defcent, the climate is of a moft happy temperature, free from difagreeable 
heat or cold, unlefs for the fpace of a few days, in fummer and winter, 
according to all our American climes. In their country are four bold rivers, 
which fpring from the Apalahche mountains, and interlock with the eaftern 
branches of the Miflifippi. The Koofah river is the weftern boundary of 
their towns: It is 200 yards broad, anH runs by the late Alebahma, to 

L 1 Mobille, 

^8 An Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 

Mobille, eaftward. Okwhufke lies 70 miles from the former, which taking*: 
a confiderable fouthern fweep, runs a weftern courfe, and joins the aforefaid 
great ftream, a little below* that deferted garrifon , fines, the year 1764, the 
Mulkohge have fettled feveral towns, feventy miles eaftward from Okwhufke, 
on the Chatahooche river, near to the old trading path. This great lympid 
ftream is 200 yards broad, and lower down* it paifes by the Apalahche,, 
into Florida; fo that this nation extends 140 miles in breadth from eaft to 
weft, according to the courfe of the trading path. 

Their land is generally hilly, but not mountainous - y , which, allows an 
army an eafy paflage into their country, to retaliate their infults and cruel 
ties that period feems to advance apace , for the fine flouriming accounts 
of thofe who gain by the art, will not always quiet a fuffering people., 
As the Mufkohge judge only from what they fee around them, they firmly 
believe they are now more powerful than any nation that might be tempted to 
invade them. Our pafiive conduct, toward them, caufes them to entertain 
a. very mean opinion of our. martial abilities : but, .before we tamely allowed 
them to commit acts of hoftility* at pleafure, (which will foon b.e men 
tioned) the traders taught them fometimes* by ftrong felt lefibns, to con 
clude the Englim to be men and warriors. They are certainly the moft 
powerful. Indian nation we are acquainted with on this continent, and within 
thirty years paft, they are grown very warlike. Toward the conclufion of 
their laft war with the Cheerake, they defeated them fo eafily, that in con 
tempt, they fent feveral of their women and fmall boys againft them, 
though,, at that time, the Cheerake were the moft numerous. The 
Choktah , were alfo much inferior to them, in feveral engagements they 
had with them j though, . perhaps, they are the moft artful ambufcaders, 
and wolfifh favages, in America. But, having no rivers in their own courir 
try, very few of them, can fwim, which often proves inconvenient and dan 
gerous, when they are in purfuit of the enemy, or purfued by them. We 
ftiould be politically forry for their differences with each other to be rer 
conciled, as long experience convinces us they cannot live without fhedding 
human blood fomewhere or other, on account of their jealous and fierce 
tempers, in refentrneat of, any kind of injury, and the martial preferment 
each obtains for every fcalp of an enemy. They are fo extremely anxious 
to be diftinguilhed by high war- titles, that fometimes a fmall party of war 
riors, on failing of fuccefs in their campaign, have been detected in. mur 
dering ; 

An Account of the Muikohge Nation. 259 

tiering fome of their own people, for the fake of their fcalps. We can 
not expect that they will obferve better faith towards us therefore com 
mon fenfe and felf-love ought to direct us to chufe the leaft of two una 
voidable evils ; ever to keep the wolf from our own doors, by engaging 
him with his wolfifh neighbours : at leaft, the officious hand of folly mould 
not part them, when they are earneftly engaged in their favourite element 
againft each other. 

All the other Indian nations we have any acquaintance with, are vifibly 
and faft declining, on account of their continual mercilefs wars, the im 
moderate ufe of fpiritnous liquors, and the infectious ravaging nature of 
the fmall pox : but the Mufkohge have few enemies, and the traders with 
them have taught them to prevent the lad contagion from fpreading among 
their towns, by cutting off all communication with thofe who are infected, 
till the danger is over. Befides, as the men rarely go to war till they have 
helped the women to plant a fufficient plenty of provifions, contrary to the 
ufual method of warring favages, it is fo great a help to propagation, that 
by this means alfo, and their artful policy of inviting decayed tribes to in 
corporate with them, I am allured by a gentleman of diftinguifhed character, 
who fpeaks their language as well as their beft orators, they have in- 
creafed double in number within the fpace of thirty years pall, notwithftand- 
ing their widows are confined to a ftrict ftate of celibacy, for the full 
fpace of four years after the death of their hufbands. When we confider 
that two or three will go feveral hundred miles, to way-lay an enemy 
the contiguous fituation of fuch a prodigious number of corrupt, haughty, 
and mifchievous favages to our valuable colonies, ought to draw our atten 
tion upon them. Thofe of us who have gained a fufficient knowledge of 
Indian affairs, by long experience and obfervation, are firmly perfuaded that 
the feeds of war are deeply implanted in their hearts againft us ; and that 
the allowing them, in our ufual tame manner, to infult, plunder, and mur 
der peaceable Britifh fubjects, only tempts them to engage deeper in therr 
diabolical fcenes of blood, till they commence a dangerous open war againft 
us : the only probable means to preferve peace, is either to fet them and 
their rivals on one another, or by prudent management, influence them to 
employ themfelves in raifing filk, or any other ftaple commodity that would 
beft fuit their own temper and climate. Prudence points out this, but the 
tafk is too arduous for ftrangers ever to be able to cjffect, or they care not 
about it. 

L 1 2 Before 

260 An Account of the Muikohge Nation. 

Before the late ceflion of Eaft and Weft Florida to Great Britain, the country 
of the Mufkohge lay between the territories of the Englifh, Spaniards, 
French, Choktah, Chikkafah, and Cheerake. And as they had a water car 
riage, from the two Floridas ; to fecure their liberties, and a great trade 
by land from Georgia and South-Carolina, this nation regulated the Indian 
balance of power in our fouthern parts of North-America ; for the French 
could have thrown the mercenary Choktah, and the Miflifippi favages, into 
the fcale, whenever their intereft feemed to require it. The Mufkohge hav 
ing three rival chriftian powers their near neighbours, and a French garrifon 
on the fouthern extremity of the central part of their country ever fince 
the war of the year 1715; the old men, being long informed by the 
oppofite parties, of the different views, and intrigues of thofe European 
powers, who paid them annual tribute under the vague appellation of pre- 
fents, were become furprifmgly crafty in every turn of low politics. They 
held it as an invariable maxim, that their fecurity and welfare required a 
perpetual friendly intercourfe with us and the French ; as our political 
ftate of war with each other, would always fecure their liberties : whereas, 
if they joined either party, and enabled it to prevail over the other, their 
fbate, they faid, would then become as unhappy as that of a poor fellow, 
who had only one perverfe wife, and yet muft bear with her froward 
temper ; but a variety of choice would have kept off fuch an afflicting 
evil, either by his giving her a ftlent caution againft behaving ill, or by 
enabling him to go to another, who was in a better temper. But as the 
French Alebahma Garrifon had been long directed by fkilful officers, and 
fupplied pretty well with corrupting brandy, taffy, and decoying trifles 
at the expence of government, they induflrioufly applied their mifchievous 
talents in imprefiing many of the former fi-mple and peaceable natives with 
falfe notions of the ill intentions of our colonies. In each of their towns, 
the French gave a considerable penfion to an eloquent head-man, to cor 
rupt the Indians by plaufible pretexts, and inflame them againft us ; who 
informed them alfo of every material occurrence, in each of their refpective 
circles. The force of liquors made them ib faithful to their truft, that they 
poifoned the innocence of their own growing families, by tempting them,, 
from their infancy, to receive the wofft impreffions of the Britilh colonifts :. 
and as they very feldom got the better of thole prejudices, they alienated. 
the affections of their offspring, and riveted thejr bicter enmity againft us. 
That conduct of the Chciltian French has fixed many of the Mufkohge 


An Account of the Mufkohge Nation* 261 

in a ftrong native hatred to the Britifti Americans, which being hereditary, 
muft of courfe increafe, as faft as they increafe in numbers ; unlefs we give 
them fuch a fevere lefTon, as their annual hoftile conduct to us, has highly 
deferved fmce the year 1760. I fhall now fpeak more explicitly on this 
very material point. 

By our fnperintendant's ftrange purfuit of improper meafures to appeafe 
the Mufkohge, as before noticed, the watchful French engaged the irritated 
Great Mortar to infpire his relations to cut off fome of our traders by fur- 
prife, and follow the blow at the time the people were ufually employed in 
the corn-fields, left our party mould ftop them, in their intended bloody ca 
reer. They accordingly began their hoftile attack in the upper town 
of the nation, except one, where their mifchievous red abettor lived : 
two white people and a negroe were killed, while they were in the horfe- 
pen, preparing that day to have fet off with their returns to the Englifli 
fettlements. The trader, who was furly and ill-natured, they chopped 
to pieces, in a moft horrid manner, but the other two they did not 
treat with any kind of barbarity ; which {hews that the worft people, in 
their worft actions, make a diftinction between the morally virtuous, and 
vicious. The other white people of that trading houfe, happily were at that 
time in the woods ; they heard the favage platoon, and the death, and war- 
whoop, which fufficiently warned them of their imminent danger, and to 
feek their fafety by the beft means they could. Some of them went through 
the woods after night, to our friend towns ; and one who happened to be 
near the town when the alarm was given, going to bring in a horfe, was 
obliged to hide himfelf under a large fallen tree, till night came on. 
The eager favages came twice, pretty near him, imagining he would chufe 
rather to depend on the horfe's fpeed, than his own : when the town was 
engaged in dividing the fpoils, his wife fearing (he might be watched, took 
a confiderable fweep round, through the thickets, and by fear ch ing the place, 
and making fignals, where me expected he lay concealed, fortunately found, 
him, and gave him provifions to enable him to get to our fettlements,' 
and then returned home in tears : he arrived fate at Augufta, though 
exceedingly torn with the brambles, as his fafety required him to travel 
through unfrequented tracts. In the mean while, the favages having by this 
inflamed their greedy thirft for blood, fet off fwiftly, and as they darted 
3 aJong 

An Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 

along founding the news of war, they from a few, increafed fo faft, that their 
voices conveyed fuch thrilling Ihocks to thofe they were in quell of, as if 
the infernal legions had broken loofe through their favourite Alebahma, and 
were inverted with power to deftroy the innocent. The great Okwhuike- 
town, where they reached, lay on the weftern fide of the large eafternmoft 
branch of Mobille river, which joins a far greater weftern river, almoft two 
miles below the late Alebahma ; and the Englifh traders ftore-houfes lay 
oppofite to the town. Thofe red ambaflTadors of the French, artfully 
palled the river above the town, and ran along filently to a gentleman's 
dwelling houfe, where they firft mot down one of his fervants, and in a 
minute or two after, himfelf : probably, he might have been faved, if he 
had not been too defperate j for a flrong-bodied leading warrior of the town 
was at his houfe when they came to it, who grafped him behind, with his 
face toward the wall, on purpofe to fave him from being mot ; as they durft 
not kill himfelf, under the certain pain of death. But very unluckily, the 
gentleman ftruggled, got hold of him, threw him to the ground, and fo 
became too fair a mark. Thus the Frenchified favages cut off, in the bloom 
of his youth, the fon of J. R. Efq-, Indian trading merchant of Augufta, who 
was the mod (lately, comely, and gallant youth, that ever traded in the 
Mulkohge country, and equally bleft with every focial virtue, that attracts 
efteem. The very favages lament his death to this day, though it was ufual 
with him to correct as many of the fwaggering heroes, as could (land 
round him in his houfe, when they became impudent and mifchievous, 
through the plea of drinking fpirituous liquors : when they recover from 
their bacchanal phrenzy, they regard a man of a martial fpirit, and con 
temn the pufillanimous. 

While the town was in the utmoft furprife, the ambitious warriors 
were joyfully echoing "all is fpoiled ;" and founding the death-whoop, 
they, like fo many infernal furies commiflloned to deftroy, fet off at 
full fpeed, difperfing their bloody legions to various towns, to carry ge 
neral deftruftion along with them. But before any of their companies 
reached to the Okchai war-town, (the native place of the Great Mortar) the 
inhabitants had heard the maflacre was begun, and according to their rule, 
killed two of our traders in their houfe, when quite off their guard < 
as thefe traders were brave, and regardlefs of danger by their habit 
of living, the favages were afraid to bring their arms with them, it being un- 


An Account of the Mu/kohge Nation. 263 

tifoal, by reafon of the fecure fituation of the town. A few therefore 
entered the houfe, with a fpecious pretence, and intercepted them from the 
fire-arms, which lay on a rack, on the front of the chimney \ they inftantly 
feized them, and as they were loaded with large fhot, they killed thofe 
two valuable and intrepid men, and left them on^ the fire but if they 
had been a few minutes fore-warned of the danger, their lives would have 
coft the whole town very dear, unlefs they had kindled the houfe with- 
fire- arrows. 

Like peftilential vapours driven by whirlwinds, the mifchievous fa 
vages endeavoured to bring defolation- on the innocent objects of their 
fury, wherever they came : but the different flights of the trading people, 
as well as their own expertnefs in the woods, and their connections 
with the Indians, both by marriage and other ties of friendfhip, difap- 
pointed the accomplifhment of the main point of the French diabolical 
fcheme of dipping them all over in blood. By fundry means, a con-< 
fiderable number of our people met at the friendly houfe of the old 
Wolf-King, two miles from the Akbahma Fort, where that faithful- 
ftern chieftain treated them with the greateft kindnefs. But, , as the 
whole nation was diftracted, and the neighbouring towns were devoted 
to the French intereft, he found that by having no fortrefs, and only 
forty warriors in his town, he was unable to protect the refugees. In 
order therefore to keep good faith with his friends, who put themfelves un 
der his protection, he told them their fituation, fnpplied thofe of them with 
arms and ammunition who chanced to have none, and conveyed them into 
a contiguous thick fwamp, as their only place of fecurity for that time;. 
" which their own valour, he faid,.he was fure would maintain, both againft 
the French, and their mad friends." He was not miftaken in his favour 
able opinion of their war abilities, for they ranged themfelves fo well, thac 
the enemy found it impracticable to attack them, without fuftaining far 
greater lofs than they are known to hazard. He fupplied them with necef- 
faries, and fent them fafe at length to a friendly town, at a confiderable 
diftance, where they joined feveral other traders, from different places* 
and were foon after fafely- efcorted to Savanah, 

It is- furprifmg how thofe hardy men evaded the dangers they were fur- 
raunded with, efpecially at the beginning, and with fo little lofs. One of 

264 ^ n Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 

them told me, that while a party of the favages were on a cprn-houfe fcaf- 
fold, painting themfelves red and black, to give the cowardly blow to him 
and his companions, an old woman overheard them concerting their bloody 
defign, and fpeedily informed him of the threatening danger : he mentioned 
the intended place of meeting to his friends, and they immediately fet off, 
one this way, and another that, to prevent a purfuit, and all met fafe, to 
the great regret of the Chriftian French and their red hirelings. I was in 
formed that another confiderable trader, who lived near a river, on 
the outfide of a town, where he ftood fecure in the affection of his favage 
brethren, received a vifit from two lufty ill-looking ftrangers, without 
being diicovered by any of the inhabitants. They were anointed with 
bear's oil, and quite naked, except a narrow flip of cloth for breeches, and 
a light blanket. When they came in, they looked around, wild and con- 
fufed, not knowing how to execute the French commiflion, confiftently 
with their own fafcty, as they brought no arms, left it fliould have difco- 
vered their intentions, and by that means expofed them to danger. But 
they feated themfelves near the door, both to prevent his efcape, and watch 
a favourable opportunity to perpetrate their murdering fcheme. His white 
domeflics were a little before gone into the woods ; and he and his Indian wife 
were in the ftorehoufe, where there chanced to be no arms of defence, which 
made his efcape the more hazardous. He was nearly in the fame light drefs, 
as that of his vifitants, according to the mode of their domeftic living : 
he was about to give them fome tobacco, when their countenances growing 
more gloomy and fierce, were obferved by his wife, as well as the mif- 
chievous direction of their eyes ; prefently therefore as they bounded up, the 
one to lay hold of the white man, and the other of an ax that lay on the 
floor, me feized it at the fame inftant, and cried, " hufband fight ftrong, 
and run off, as becomes a good warrior." The favage ftrove to lay 
hold of him, till the other could difengage himfelf from the Iharp ftrug- 
gle the woman held with htm ; but by a quick prefence of mind, the huf 
band decoyed his purfuer round a large ladder that joined the loft, and 
being ftrong and fwift-footed, he there took the advantage of his too 
eager adverfary, dalhed him to the ground, and ran out of the houfe, 
full fpeed to the river, bounded into it, foon made the oppofite more, 
and left them at the ftore-houfe, from whence the woman, as a trufty 
friend, drove them off, with the utmoft defpight, her family was her 


An Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 265 

protection. The remaining part of that day, he ran a great diftance 
through the woods, called at night on fuch white people, as he ima 
gined his fafety allowed him, was joined by four of them, and went toge 
ther to Penfacola. Within three or four days march of that place, the 
lands, they told me, were in general, either boggy and low, or confiding 
of fandy pine-barrens. Although they were almoft naked, and had lived 
for many days on the produce of the woods, yet the daftardly Spa 
niards were fo hardened againft the tender feelings of nature in favour of the 
diftrefied, who now took fanctuary under the Spanifh flag, as to refufe them 
every kind of affiftance ; contrary to the hofpitable cuftom of the red fa- 
vages, even towards thofe they devote to the fire. A north-country fkipper, 
who rode in the harbour, was equally diverted of the bowels of companion 
toward them, notwithstanding their preffing entreaties, and offers of bills 
on very refpectable perfons in Charles-Town, But the commandant of the 
place foon inftructed him very feelingly in the common laws of huma 
nity ; for on. fome pretext, he feized the vefiel and cargo, and left the nar 
row-hearted mifer to fhift for himfelf, and return home as he could : thofe un 
fortunate traders were kindly treated however by the head-man of an adjacent 
town of the Apalahche Indians, who being a confiderable dealer, fupplied 
them with every thing they flood in need of, till, in time, they were recalled \ 
for vyhich they foon very thankfully paid him and the reft of his kind fa 
mily, with handibme prefents, as a token of their friendfhip and gratitude. 

In the mean while, fome of the eloquent old traders continued in their towns, 
where the red flag of defiance was hung up day and night, as the French 
had no intereft there : and, in a few other towns, fome of our thoughtlefs 
young men, who were too much attached to the Indian life, from an early 
purfuit in that wild and unlimited country, chofe to run any rifk, rather 
than leave their favourite fcenes of pleafure. In the day-time, they kept in 
the mod unfrequented places, and ufually returned at night to their friend's 
houfe : and they followed that dangerous method of living a confiderable 
time, in different places, without any mifchance. One of them told me, 
that one evening, when he was returning to his wife's houfe on horfe-back, 
before the ufual time, he was overtaken by a couple of young warriors, 
who pranced up along afide of him. They fpoke very kindly according to 
their cuftom, that they might fhed blood, like wolves, without hazarding 
their own carcafes. As neither of them had any weapons, except a long 
knife hanging round their neck in a fheath, they were afraid to attack him, on 

Mm fo 

266 An Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 

fo hazardous a lay. Their queftions, cant language, and difcompofed coun 
tenances, informed him of their bloody intentions, and cautioned him from 
falling into any of their wily ftratagems, which all cowards are dextrous in 
forming. When they came to a boggy cane-branch, they ftrove to per- 
fuade him to alight, and reft a little, but finding their labour in vain, they 
got dov/n : one prepared a club to kill him, and the other a fmall frame of 
jplit canes tied together with bark, to bear his fealp feeing this, he fet off 
with the bravado whoop, through the high lands, and as he rode a fwifc 
horfe, he left them out of fight in an inftant. He took a great fweep round, 
to avoid an after-chafe. At night, he went to the town, got fire-arms, and 
provifions, and foon arrived fafe in Georgia. 

Other inftances may be related, but thefe will fuffice to mew how fer- 
viceable fuch hardy and expert men would be to their country, as here 
tofore, if our Indian trade was properly regulated ; and how exceedingly 
preferable the tenth part of their number would prove againft boafted regular 
troops, in the woods. Though the britim legions are as warlike and formi 
dable in the field of battle, as any troops whatever, as their martial bravery 
has often testified , yet in fome fituations they would be infignificant and help- 
lefs. Regular bred foldiers, in the American woods, would be of little fer- 
vice. The natives and old inhabitants, by being trained to arms from their 
infancy, in their wood-land fphere of life, could always furround them, 
and fweep them off entirely, with little damage to themfelves. In fuch a 
cafe, field-pieces are a mere farce. The abettors of arbitrary power, who 
are making great advances through the whole Britim empire, to force the 
people to decide this point, and retrieve their conftitutional rights and liber 
ties, would do well to confider this. Is it poffible for tyranny to be fo 
weak and blind, as to flatter its corrupt greatnefs with the wild notion 
of placing a defpotic military power of a few thoufand regular troops, over 
millions of the Americans, who are trained to arms of defence, from the 
time they are able to carry them generally inured to dangers, and all of 
them poffeffing, in a high degree, the focial virtues of their manly free- 
minded fore-fathers, who often bled in the noble caufe of liberty, when 
hateful tyranny perfifted in ftretching her rod of opprefiion over their repin 
ing country ? Tyrants are obftinately deaf, and blind j they will fee and 
hear only through the falfe medium of felf-interefted court-flatterers, and ? 
inftead of redrefling the grievances of the people, have fometimes openly 
7 defpiied 

An Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 267 

defpifed and infulted them, for even exhibiting their modeft prayers at the 
foot of the throne, for a reftoration of their rights and privileges. Some 
however have been convinced in the end they were wrong, and have juftly 
iuHfered by the anathematizing voice of God and a foederal union. That 
" a prince can do no ill'* is a flat contradiction of rcafon and experience, 
and of the Englifh Magna Charta. 

Soon after Weft-Florida was ceded to Great-Britain, two warlike 
towns of the Koo-a-fah te Indians removed from near the late danger 
ous Alabahma French garrifon, to the Choktah country about twenty- 
five miles below Tumbikbe a ftrong wooden fortrefs, fituated on the 
weftern fide of a high and firm bank, overlooking a narrow deep point 
of the river of Mobille, and diflant from that capital, one hundred 
leagues. The difcerning old war-chieftain of this remnant, perceived that 
the proud Mufkohge, inftead of reforming their conduct towards us, by our 
mild remonflrances, grew only more impudent by our lenity; therefore 
being afraid of (baring the juftly deferved fate of the ethers, he wifely 
withdrew to this fituation , as the French could not poflibly fupply 
them, in cafe we had exerted ourfelves, either in defence of our properties, or 
in revenge of the blood they had (bed. But they were foon forced to return 
to their former place of abode, on account of the partiality of fome of them 
to their former confederates -, which proved lucky in its confequences, to 
the traders, and our fouthern colonies : for, when three hundred warriors of 
the Mufkohge were on their way to the Choktah to join them in a war againft 
us, two Kooafahte horfcmen, as allies, were allowed to pafs through their 
ambufcade in the evening, and they gave notice of the impending danger. 
Thefe Kooafahte Indians, annually fanctify the mulberries by a public 
oblation, before which, they are not to be eaten ; which they fay, is ac 
cording to their ancient law. 

I am aflured by a gentleman of character, who traded a long time near 
the late Alebahma garrifon, that within fix miles of it, live the remains of 
feven Indian nations, who ufually converfed with each other in their own 
different dialects, though they underftood the Mufkohge language -, but 
being naturalized, they were bound to obferve the laws and cuftoms of the 
main original body. Thefe reduced, broken tribes, who have helped to 
multiply the Mufkohge to a dangerous degree, have alfo a fixed oral tradi 
tion, that they formerly came from South-America, and, after fundry ftrug- 

M m 2 gles 

26$ An Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 

gles in defence of liberty, fettled their prefent abode : but the Mofkohge 
record themfelves to be terra; rtlii, and believe their original predeceffbrs 
came from the weft, and refided under ground, which feems to be a faint 
image of the original formation of mankind out of the earth, perverted 
by time, and the ufual arts of prieft-craft. 

It will be fortunate, if the late peace between the Mufkohge and Choktah, 
through the mediation of a fuperintendant, doth not foon affect the fecurity of 
Georgia, and Eaft and Weft-Florida, efpecially mould it continue long, and 
Britain and Spain engage in a war againft each other : for Spain will fuppljr 
them with warlike ftores, and in concert, may without much oppofition, re 
take the Floridas ; which they feem to have much at heart. A Cuba veflel,. 
in the year 1767, which feemed to be coafting on purpofe to meet fome of 
the Mulkohge, found a camp of them almoft oppofite to the Apalachc old 
fields, and propofed purchafing thofe lands from them ; in order to fecure- 
their liberties, and, at the fame time, gratify the inherent, ardent defire 
they always had to oppofe the Englifh nation. After many artful flourifhes* 
well adapted to foothe the natives into a compliance on account of the 
reciprocal advantages they propofed, fome of the Mufkohge confented to 
go in the vefFel to the Havannah, and there finilh the friendly bargain. 
They went, and at the time propofed, were fent back to the fame place, 
but, as they are very clofe in their fecrets, the traders know not the re- 
fult of that affair^ but when things in Europe require, time will difclofe it. 

As the Mufkohge were well known to be very mifchievous to our bar 
rier-inhabitants, and to be an over-match for the numerous and fickle Chok- 
tah, the few warlike Chikkafkh, by being put in the fcale with thefe, would 
in a few years, have made the Mufkohge kick the beam. Thus our 
fouthern colonifts might have fat in pleafure r and fecurity, under their fig- 
trees, and in their charming arbours of fruitful grape-vines. But now, 
they are uncertain whether they plant for themfelves, or for the red favages r 
who frequently take away by force or ftealth, their hories and other effects. 
The Mufkohge chieftain, called the " Great Mortar," abetted the Cheerake 
againft us, as hath been already noticed, and frequently, with his warriors 
and relations, carried them as good a fupply of ammunition, as the French 
of the Alebahmah-garrifon could well fpare : for by order of their govern.- 
meat, they were bound to referve a certain quantity, for any imforefeen occa- 


An Account of the Muikohge Nation.. 269? 

on that might happen. If they had been pofleft of more, they would 
have given with a liberal hand, to enable them to carry on a war againlt 
us, and they almoft effected their earneft wifhes, when the Englifh little 
expected it ; for as foon as the watchful officer of the garrifon, was in 
formed by his irufty and well inftructed red difciple, the Great Mor 
tar, that the Cheerake were on the point of declaring againft the En 
glifh, he few the confequence, and fent a pacquet by a Mufkohge runner,. 
to Tumbikbe-fort in the Choktah country, which was forwarded by 
another, and foon delivered to the governor of New-Orleans : the con 
tents informed him of the favourable opportunity that offered for the 
French to fettle themfelves in the Cheerake country, where the late 
Fort-Loudon flood, near the conflux of Great Telliko and Tennafe-rivers, 
and fo diftrefs our fouthern colonies, as the body of the Cheerake, 
Mufkohge, Choktah, Aquahpa, and the upper Miffifippi-Indians headed 
by the French, would be able to maintain a certain fuccefsful war againft 
us, if well fupplied with ammunition. Their deliberations were fhort they 
foon fent off a large pettiaugre, fufficiently laden with warlike flores,. 
and decoying prefents ; and in obedience to the orders the crew had re 
ceived of making all the difpatch they poffibly could, in the third moon of 
their departure from New Orleans, they arrived within a hundred and twenty 
computed miles of thofe towns that are a little above the unhappy Fort- 
Loudon : there they were luckily flopped in their mifchievous career,, by a 
deep and dangerous cataract j the waters of which rolled down with a pro 
digious rapidity, dafhed againft the oppofite rocks, and from, thence rumed 
off with impetuous violence, on a quarter-angled courfe. It appeared fo 
mocking and unfurmountable to the monfieurs, that after flaying there 
a confiderable time,, in the vain expectation of feeing fome of their friends, 
necefiity forced them to return back to New Orleans, about a6oo com 
puted miles,, to their inconfolable difappointment. 

Thefe circumftances are now well known to our colonies : and,, if our 
flate policy had not fufficiently difcovered itlelf of late, it would appear 
not a little furprifing that the Great Mortar, mould have fuch influence 
on the great beloved man, (fo the Indians term the fuperintendant) as 
to move him, at a congrefs in Augufta, to write by that bitter enemy of 
the Englifh name, a conciliating letter to the almoft-vanquimed and de- 
fponding Choktah for where the conquerors have not an oblique point in 


An Account of tie Mufkohge Nation. 

view, the conquered are always the firft who humbly fue for peace. This 
beloved epiftle, that accompanied the eagles-tails, fwans- wings, white beads, 
white pipes, and tobacco, was fent by a white interpreter, and Me/he- 
Jbecke t a Mufkohge war-chieftain, to the perfidious Choktah, as a flrong 
confirmation of peace. Without doubt it was a mafter Ikcke of court- 
policy, to drive to gain fo many expert red auxiliaries ; and plainly mews 
how extremely well he deferves his profitable place of public trufc. I 
am afTured by two refpectable, intelligent, old Indian traders, G. G. and 
L. M. G. Efq-, that they frequently diffuaded him from ever dub- 
ling in fuch muddy waters ; for the confequence would unavoidably prove 
fatal to our contiguous colonies. This was confirmed by a recent in- 
flance the late Cheerake war, which could not have commenced, if the 
Mufkohge and Cheerake had not been reconciled, by the afliduous en 
deavours of an avaricious, and felf-interefted governor. If any reader 
reckons this too bold, or pcrfonal, I requefl him to perufe a performance, 
entitled, " A modeft reply to his Excellency J. G. Efq-," printed in Charles- 
town, in the year 1750, in which every material circumftance is fuffici- 
entiy authenticated. 

When we confider the defencelefs date, and near fituation of our three fou- 
thern barrier colonies to the numerous Mufkohge and Choktah what favour 
able opinion can charity reafonably induce us to form of the continued train 
of wrong meafures the managers of our Indian affairs have dudioufly pur- 
fued, by officioufly mediating, and reconciling the deep-rooted enmity 
which fubfifted between thofe two mifchievous nations ? If they could not, 
confident with the tenour of their political office, encourage a conti 
nuance of the war, they might have given private indruclions to fome 
difcreet trader to drive to influence them, fo as to continue it. 

It is excufable in clergymen that live in England to perfuade us to 
inculcate, and endeavour to promote peace and good will, between the 
favages of the remote defarts of America j efpecially if they employ their 
time in fpiritual affairs, to which they ought to be entirely devoted, and 
not as courtiers, in the perplexing labyrinths of date affairs : but what can 
be faid of thofe dates-men, who inftead of faithfully guarding the lives and 
privileges of valuable fubjects, extend mercy to their murderers, who have 

* long 

An Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 271 

a long time wantonly fhed innocent blood, and fometimes with dreadful tor 
tures ? The blood cries aloud to the avenging God, to caufe juftice to be 
executed on their execrable heads : for a while they may efcape due punifli- 
ment, but at laft it will fall heavy upon them. 

When the fuperintendant's deputy convened mod of the Mufkohge 

head-men, in order to write a friendly mediating letter to the Chikkafah, 

in behalf of the Mufkohge, the Great Mortar, animated with a bitter 

refentment againft any thing tranfafted by any of the Britifh nation, 

introduced a confiderable number of his relations, merely to difconcert this 

plan. The letter, and ufual Indian tokens of peace and friendfhip, were 

however carried up by a Chikkafah trader : but the Great Mortar timed 

it fo well, that he foon fet off after the other with ninety warriors, till he 

arrived within 150 miles of the Chikkafah country, which was half way 

from the weftern barriers of his own , there he encamped with 83, and fent 

off feven of the ftauncheft to furprize and kill whomfoever they could. 

Two days after the exprefs was delivered, they treacheroufly killed two 

young women, as they were hoeing in the field ; all the people being off 

their guard, on account of the late friendly tokens they received, and the 

affurance of the white man that there were no vifible tracks of any perfon 

on the long trading path he had come. This was the beginning of May, 

in the year 1768, a few hours after I had fet off for South-Carolina. As 

foon as the fculking barbarians had difcharged the contents of their guns 

into their innocent vidlims, they tomohawked them, and with their long 

Iharp knives, took off the fcalps, put up the death wkoo-wboop-wboop, and 

bounded away in an oblique courfe, to fhun the dreaded purfuit. The 

Chikkafah foon put up their mrill war-whoop, to arm and purfue, and 

fixty fet off on horfe-back, full fpeed. They over- (hot that part of 

the woods the enemy were 'mo ft likely to have fled through , and four 

' young fprightly Chikkafah warriors who outran the reft, at laft difcovered, 

and intercepted them , they (hot dead the Great Mortar's brother, who was 

the leader, fcalped him, and retook one of the young women's fcalps that 

was fattened to his girdle. Three continued the chafe, and the fourth in 

a fhort time overtook them : foon afterward, they came up again with the 

enemy, at the edge of a large cane-fwamp, thick-warped with vines, and china 

briers ; there they flopped, and were at firft in doubt of their being fome of 


2; 2 An Account of the Muikohge Nation. 

their own company : the purfued Toon difcovered them, and immediately in- 
fwamped, whereupon the four were forced to decline the attack, the difad- 
vantage being as four to eight in an open engagement. In a few days 
after, I fell in with them ; their gloomy and fierce countenances cannot 
t>e expreffed , and I had the uncourted honour of their company, three 
different times before I could reach my deftined place, on account of a very 
uncommon and fudden flow of the rivers, without any rain. Between fun- 
fet and eleven o'clock the next day, the river, that was but barely our height 
in the evening, was fwelled to the prodigious height of twenty-five feet per 
pendicular, and fwept along with an impetuous force. 

It may not be improper here to mention the method we commonly ufe 
in croffing deep rivers. When we expect high rivers, each company of 
traders carry a canoe, made of tannned leather, the fides over-lapped about 
three fingers breadth, and well fewed with three feams. Around the gun 
nels, which are made of fapplings, are ftrong loop-holes, for large deer-fkin 
firings to hang down both the fides : with two of thefe, is fecurely tied to the 
ftem and ftern, a well-fliaped fappling, for a keel, and in like manner 
the ribs. Thus, they ufually rig out a canoe, fit to carry over ten horfe 
'loads at once, in the fpace of half an hour ; the apparatus is afterwards 
commonly hidden with great care-, on the oppofite fhore. Few take 
the trouble to paddle the canoe , for, as they are commonly hardy, and 
alfo of an amphibious nature, they ufually jump into the river, with their 
leathern barge a-head of them, and thruft it through the deep part of 
the water, to the oppofite more. When we ride only with a few lug 
gage horfes, as was our cafe at Sip-fe^ or " Poplar," the above-mentioned 
high-fwelled river, we make a frame of dry pines, which we tie together 
with ftrong vines, well twifted ; when we have raifed it to be fufficiently 
buoyant, we load and paddle it acrofs the ftilleft part of the water we can 
conveniently find, and afterward fvvim our horfes together, we keeping at 
a little diflance below them. 

At the time we firft began to fearch for convenient floating timber, 

I chanced to : ftand at the end of a dry tree, overfet by a hurricane, 

within ; three feet of a great rattle fnake, that was coiled, and on his 

watch of felf-defence, under thick herbage. I foon efpied, and killed 

7 him. 

An Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 273 

killed him. But an aftrologer, of twenty years Handing among the In 
dians, immediately declared with ftrong afieverations, we mould foon be 
expofed to imminent danger ; which he expatiated upon largely, from his 
imagined knowledge of a combination of fecond caufes in the celeftial re 
gions, actuating every kind of animals, vegetables, &c. by their fubtil 
and delegated power. I argued in vain to hum his groundlefs fears : how 
ever, while the raft was getting ready, another gentleman", to quiet his 
timorous apprehenfions, accompanied me with fire-arms, pretty near the 
path in the beforementioned cane-iwamp, and we ftaid there a confiderable 
while, at a proper diftance apart at laft we heard the well-mimicked voice 
of partridges, farther off than our fight could difcover, on which one of 
us (truck up the whoop of friendfhip and indifference ; for I knew that the 
beft way of arguing on luch occafions, was by a firmnefs of countenance and 
behaviour. I then went near to my companion, and faid, our cunning man 
was an Aberdeen wizard, as he had fo exaclly foretold the event. The 
favages had both difcovered our tracks, and heard the found of the ax. 
We foon met them ; they were nine of the mifchievous Obcbai town, 
who had feparated from the reft of their company. We converfed a little 
while together upon our arms, and in this manner exchanged provifions 
with each other then we went down to the bank of the river, where 
they opened their packs, fpread out fome hairy deer and bear fkins 
with the flefhy fide undermoft, and having firft placed on them their heavy 
things, and then the lighter, with the guns which lay uppermoft, each 
made two knots with the {hanks of a {kin, and in the fpace of a few mi 
nutes, they had their leathern barge afloat, which they foon thruft before 
them to the other more, with a furprifingly fmall deviation from a direcT: 
courfe, confidering the ftrong current of the water. When our aftrologer 
faw them fafe eff, he wimed them a fpeedy journey home, without being 
expofed to the neceffity of any delay. He was foon after carried fafe over 
on our raft, though once he almoft over-fet it, either by reafon of the ab- 
fence, or difturbance, of his mind. Had he contracted a fever, from the 
impending dangers his knowledge affured him were not yet paft, the cold 
fweat he got when left by himfelf, while we were returning with the raft, 
and afterward fwimming with the horfes', muft have contributed a good 
deal to the cure. Soon afterwards, we came in fight of their camp in 
a little fpot of clear land, furrounded by a thick cane-fwamp, where 
fome traders formerly had been killed by the Choktah. Our aftrologer 

N n urged 

274 -d }l Account of the Mulkohge Nation. 

urged the necefiity of proceeding a good way farther, to avoid the danger, 
I endeavoured to convince him by feveral recent inftances, that a timorous 
conduct was a great incentive to the bafe-minded favages, to do an injury, 
not expecting any defence ; while an open, free, and refolute behaviour, a mow 
of taking pleafure in their company, and a difcreet care of our fire-arms, 
feldom failed to gain the good will of fuch as are not engaged in actual war 
againft our country : he acquiefced, as I engaged to fit next to the Indian 
camp, which was about a dozen yards apart from our's. He chofe his place 
pretty near to mine, but in the evening, I told him, that as I did not under- 
ftand the Mufkohge dialect, nor they much of the Chikkafah language, I 
would give him the opportunity of diverting himfelf at leifure with them, 
whilft on account of the fatigues of the day, I would repofe myfelf clofe at 
the root of a neighbouring tree. This method of encamping in different 
places, on hazardous occafions, is by far the fafeft way. I told them, be 
fore my removal to my night quarters, that he was almoft their countryman, 
by a refidence of above twenty years among them, their chieftain therefore 
readily addrefled him, and according to what I expected, gave me an op 
portunity of decently retiring. But when he expected a formal reply, 
according to their ufual cuftom, our aftrological interpreter fpoke only a 
few words, but kept pointing to the river, and his wet clothes, and 
to his head, (baking it two or three times ; thereby informing them of 
the great danger he underwent in crofllng the water, which gave him fo 
violent a head-ach, as to prevent his fpeaking with any pleafure. I 
laughed, and foon after endeavoured to perfuade him to go over a little 
while to their camp, as I had done, and by that means, he might know 
better their prefent difpofition , he replied with a doleful accent, that he was 
already too near them, to the great danger of his life, which he now too late 
faw expofed, by believing my doctrine of bringing them to obferve friendly 
meafures, inftead of pufhing beyond them as he had earneftly propofed. I 
afked him how he could reafonably fear, or expect to fhun a fudden death, no 
account of his knowledge of the ftarry influences, and fkiil in expound 
ing dreams, and efpecially as he feemed firmly to believe the deity had 
pre-determined the exact time of every living creature's continuance here : 
upon this he prevaricated, and told me, that as I knew nothing of 
aftrology, nor of the ufeful and fkilful expofition of important dreams, 
neither believed any thing of witches and wizards being troublefome 
and hurtful to others, he could not imagine I believed any thin- of a 
divine providence or a refurrection of the dead ; which were evidently,. 
5 alike 

An Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 275 

alike true, as appeared both by divine writ, and the united confent of 
every ancient nation. He faid, people were ordered to watch and 
pray , I therefore could not be ruled by the fcripture, for why did 
I go to bed fo foon, and leave all that trouble to him. I told him, 
I witlied he might by prayer, obtain a calm compofnre of mind. 
He faid, I was the caufe of all his uneafinefs, by inducing him, con 
trary to his over night's bloody dream, to lie fo near thofe wolfifh fa- 
vages. Then, in an angry panic, he curfed me, and faid, he mould not 
that night have prayed there, only that the devil tempted him to be 
lieve my damned lies, and fin againft the divine intimations he had re 
ceived juft before. 

Within half a day's ride of Augufta, I met the gentlemen who were ap 
pointed to meet certain head-men of the Mufkohge, to run a line, be 
tween Georgia and the Mufkohge country. The fuperintendant's deputy 
before-mentioned, accompanying them ; I then informed him of the bad 
fituation of the Indian trade, both in the Chikkafah, and Mufkohge na 
tions The caufe thereof The dangerous policy of having reconciled thofe 
jarring warlike favages the ill difpofition of the latter toward us, and 
that it was the opinion of all the traders (one excepted) that nothing, but 
their hot war with the Choktah, prevented them from executing their mif- 
chievous intentions againft us. I faid this to the commifTary before the 
feveral gentlemen j but his conduct, and that of his brother officer in the 
Chikkafah country, were no way correfpondent to the advice. While he 
benefited the ungrateful Mufkohge, and gave them a plea to injure 
the traders, he was free from perfonal danger, from the red quarter; 
but one night at camp, after the line had been, at the friendly 
and artful perfnafions of G. G. Efq-, run above twenty miles beyond 
the fouthern limits agreed upon, he almoft fatally experienced the 
effects of their revengeful temper ; which cannot be retrained when 
they imagine themfelves really injured, and afterwards infulted : for 
as he was chiding a noted warrior with iharp language, the favage 
leaped up, feized the other's gun, cocked, and prefented it againft his 
breaft ; but luckily he could not difcharge it, as it was double- tricker'd, 
contrary to the model of their fmooth-bored guns. The public prints, 
however, echoed the fuccefs of our directors of Indian affairs, on this 
important occafion; though it was entirely owing to the abilities and 

N n 2 faithful 

276 An Account of the Mufkohge .Nation. 

faithful application, firft, of Mr. G. G. and afterwards of Mr. L. M. G. which 
the deputy almoft prevented by his imprudent conduct, that had nearly 
coft him alfo his life> and endangered the public tranquility. 

In the year 1749, when I was going to Charles-town, under the provincial 
feal of South-Carolina, with a party of the Chikkalah Indians, the fmall-pox 
attacked them, not far from the Mufkohge country ; which becoming general 
through the camp, I was under the neceflity of fetting off by myielf, between 
Flint river, and that of the Okmulgeh. I came up with a large camp of Muf 
kohge traders, returning from the Englim fettlements : the gentlemen told 
me, they had been lately affured at Augufta by the Cheerake traders, that 
above a hundred and twenty of the French Shawano might be daily ex 
pected near that place, to cut off the Englim traders, and plunder their 
camps, and cautioned me, with much earneftnefs at parting, to keep a 
watchful eye during that day's march. After having rode fifteen miles, 
about ten o'clock, I difcovered ahead through the trees, an Indian afcend- 
ing a deep hill : he perceived me at the fame inftant, for they are ex 
tremely watchful on fuch dangerous attempts Ambufcade is their fa 
vourite method of attack. As the company followed their leader in a line, 
each at the diftance of a few yards from the other, all foon appeared 
in view. As foon as I difcovered the foremoft, I put np the fbrill 
whoop of friendfhip, and continually feemed to look earneftly behind 
me, till we approached near to each other, in order to draw their atten 
tion from me, and fix it that way, as fuppofing me to be the forernoft of 
a company ftill behind. Five or fix foon ran at full fpeed on each fide of 
the path, and blocked up two vallies, which happened to be at the place 
of our meeting, to prevent my efcape. They feemed as if their defign 
was to attack me with their barbed arrows, left they mould alarm my fup- 
pofed companions by the report of their guns. I obferved that inftead of 
carrying their bow and quiver over their fhoulder, as is the travelling 
cuftom, they held the former in their left hand, bent, and fome arrows. I ap 
proached and addrefied them, and endeavoured to appear quite indifferent 
at their hoftile arrangement. While I held m'y gun ready in my right hand 
about five yards diftant from them, their leader who flood foremoft came 
and (truck my bread with the but-end of one of my piftols, which I had 
in my left hand : I told him with that vehemence of fpeech, which is al 
ways requifite on fuch an occafion, that I was an Englim Chikkafah , and 
informed him by expreffive geftures that there were two tens of Chik- 
5 kafah 

An Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 277 

kafah warriors, and more than half that number of women, befides chil 
dren, a little behind, juft beyond the firft hill. At this news, they ap 
peared to be much confufed, as it was unexpected for fuch a number of 
warlike enemies to be fo near at hand. This Shawano partly confided only 
of twenty-three middle fized, but ftrong bodied men, with large heads and 
broad flat crowns, and four tall young perfons, whom I conjectured to be of 
the Cheerake nation. I fpdke a little to a hair-lipped warrior among them, 
who told me he lived in Tukkafibche, a northern town of that country. The 
leader whifpered fomething to his waiter, which, in like manner, was com 
municated to the reft, and then they all palled by me, with fullen looks and 
glancing eyes. I kept my guard till they were out of arrow-mot, when 
I went on at a feemingly indifferent pace. But, as foon out of their 
view, I rode about feventy miles with great fpeed, to avoid the danger 
of a purfuit, as I imagined they would be highly enraged againft me for 
their double difappointment. About fun-fet of the fame day, I dif- 
covered more Indians a-head ; but, inrtead of founding the ufual whoop 
of defiance, I went on (lowly, and filently, a little way, reafoning with 
myfelf about the fafeft method in fo dangerous a fituation : I had appre- 
henfions of their being another party of the Shawano company, feparated 
in that manner to avoid a purfuit ; which otherwife might be very eafy, 
by the plainnefs of their tracks, through the long grafs and herbage. 
But, at the critical time, when I had concluded to ule no chivalry, but 
give them leg-bail inftead of it, by leaving my baggage-horfcs, and making 
for a deep fwamp, I difcovered them to be a confiderable body of the Muf 
kohge head-men, returning home with prefents from Charles Town, which 
they carried chiefly on their backs. The wolf-king (as the traders termed 
him) our old fteady friend of the Amooklafah Town, near the late Ale- 
bahma, came foremoft, harnefied like a jack-afs, with a faddle on his 
back, well girt over one moulder, and acrofs under the other. We feemed 
equally glad to meet each other ; they, to hear how affairs flood in their 
country, as well as on the trading path ; and I to find, that inftead of bit 
ter-hearted foes, they were friends, and would fecure my retreat from any 
purfuit that might happen. I told them the whole circumftances attending 
my meeting the Shawano, with their being conducted by our deceitful 
Cheerake friends, who were defirous of fpoiling the old beloved white 
path, by making it red ; and earneftly perfuaded them to be on their 
guard that night, as I imagined the enemy had purfued me when they 


An Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 

found I had eluded their bloody intention. After a long converfation to 
gether, I advifed them to go home through the woods, to prevent a larger 
body of the lurking enemy from fpoiling them, and their beloved country, 
by the lofs of fo many old beloved men, and noted warriors. I faid this, 
to roufe them againft the Cheerake -, well knowing that one pack of wolves, 
was the beft watch againft another of the fame kind. They thanked me for 
the friendly notice I gave them, and the care I mewed for their fafety, and 
engaged me to call the next day at a hunting camp, where was a war- 
leader, the fon of the dog-king of the Huphale-Town, with a confiderable 
number of their people, and defire them to remove with all fpeed to 
their camp, at the place they then fixed on. We fmoked tobacco, and 
parted well pleafed. According to promife, I went the next day to the 
camp, and delivered their meflage, which was readily complied with. The 
Shawano whom I had eluded, after rambling about, and by viewing the 
fmoke of fires from the tops of high hills and trees, and carefully liftening 
to the report of guns, fell in v/ith two Chikkafah hunters, who were 
adopted relations of the Mufkohge, and killed, and fcalped them, and then 
ran off to the northern towns of the Cheerake. This was the true and fole 
caufe of the laft war between the Mufkohge and Cheerake : and the fol 
lowing account of the caufe of thofe nations entering into amity with each 
other, will, on the ftricteft enquiry, be found as true. The caufe and 
direful effects are ftill feelingly known to great numbers of the fuffering 
inhabitants, which I infert by way of caution to ftates-men hereafter. 

As the Indians have no public faith to fecure the lives of friendly 
mefiengers in war-time, their wars are perpetuated from one generation 
to another, unlefs they are ended by the mediation of fome neutral party. 
A very polifhed courtier prefided in South Carolina, who was faid 
to have caft a very earneft eye on the fuppofed profits of the Cheerake 
trade, which were much lefiened by the Mufkohge war; and, in or 
der to eftablilh it at its former value, fo as to be worth fome hazard, he 
exerted himfelf to reconcile the Mufkohge and Cheerake. If he fucceeded, 
he was fure to be fomething in pocket, and could report at home, the pro 
found peace he had effected between thofe nations by his unwearied endea 
vours. He accordingly applied to fome of the moft intelligent and lead 
ing traders among thofe warring favages, and attempted to perfuade them 


An Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 279 

by the ruling motive of mutual intereft, to be reconciled through his bro 
therly mediation. Though the Cheerake were great lofers in the war, yet 
the furviving relations of thofe who had been, killed without equal revenge 
of blood, were at firft inflexible, and deaf to the mediation : but, by the ora 
tory of fome of their own fpeakers who fiad not differed, connected with our 
traders perfuafions, each feparate family at laft confented to meet their ene 
mies, at the time and place appointed by brotherly requeft, and there bury 
the bloody tomohawk under ground, and fmoke together, out of the 
friendly white pipe. But, as the Mufkohge were conquerors, and fre 
quently returned home in their favourite and public triumphant manner, 
and had then no mifchievous views againft the Englifh, as at prefent, it was 
a very difficult tafk to reconcile them, to our beloved man's pacific mea- 
fures : their head-men had great fway over the ambitious, and young rifing 
warriors, and by the former manly conduct of South-Carolina, in obtaining 
fpeedy redrefs for every material injury, the more fenfible and honeft part 
of the old leading men were as much averfe to peace, as the light-headed 
warriors. They well knew the fickle and ungovernable temper of their 
young men, and ambitious leaders, when they had no red enemies to- war 
with, to obtain higher war-titles by fcalps and their wifdom faw at a dif- 
tance, the dangerous confequences that muft attend a general peace : for a 
confiderable time, therefore, they highly inveighed, and firmly guarded 
againft it. But when a man's private intereft coincides with what he intends 
to accomplifh, he is afllduous and more intent to effect it. This was veri 
fied by the unwearied diligence of the prime magiftrate alluded to ; he 
knew the Indians could not kill fo many deer and beaver in the time of war 
as of peace, and by his addrefo, he perfuaded feveral of the leading traders, 
even contrary to their own outward fecurity and inward choice, to exert their 
ftrongeft endeavours with the Mufkohge for a reconciliation with the Chee 
rake. The chief of thofe trading gentlemen, who unwillingly involved 
himfelf in this pernicious affair, was the humane and intelligent L. 
M'G 1 wr , Efq. Each had their leflbns, to fet forth the reciprocal ad 
vantages of .the contending parties, by fuch a coalition; but it was finifhed 
by that gentleman's earneft and well-timed application, connected, with his 
great natural fenfe, and eafy flow of their own bold figurative way of ex- 
preflion and their favourable opinion of his fteady, honeft principles. Since 
that unlucky period, he has as often lamented his fuccefs in that affair, as the 
diicerning honeft rulers of the Mufkohge oppofed it. He told me, that 


280 An Account of tie Mufkohge Nation. 

when he was foliciting fome of the head-men to comply with the fraternal 
propofals of our kindly ruler, he unexpectedly met with a very (harp repulfe; 
for, when he had finifhed his oration, on the difadvantages of frowning 
war, and the advantages of fmiling peace, an old war-leader retorted every 
paragraph he had fpoken, and told him, that till then he always had reckoned 
the Englrfh a very wife people, but now he was forry to find them unwife, in 
the moft material point : adding, " You have made yourfelf very poor, by 
fweating, far and near, in our fmoky town-houfes and hot-houfes, only to 
make a peace between us and the Cheerake, and thereby enable our young 
mad people to give you, in a fhort time, a far worfe fweat than you have yet 
had, or may now expect. But, forafmtich as the great Englifli chieftain in 
Charles Town, is driving hard to have it fo, by ordering you to fhut your 
eyes, and flop your ears, left the power of conviction mould reach your 
heart, we will not any more oppofe you in this mad fcheme. We fliall be 
filent concerning it ; otherwife, I mould be as mad as you, if I reafoned 
any more with one who is wilfully blind and deaf." 

A number of their warriors met at Charles Town, at the time ap 
pointed : their high-ftationed Englifh friend then took a great deal of pains 
to inform them of the mutual advantages, that would accrue to them, by a 
firm peace, and he convinced their fenfes of it, by a vifible proof; 
for he borrowed from one of them an arrow, and holding each end 
of it in his hands, he readily broke it, which furprized none of the 
red fpectators, except the owner, they did not then regard it as a fym- 
bolical performance, but a boyifh action. He again requefted from the 
fame young warrior, the loan of his remaining fheaf of arrows, who 
reluctantly gave them, as he feared they would all fmgly fare the fate of 
the former. But, when he held the bundle by each end in his hands, and 
could only bend it a little, he revived the watchful owner, and pleafingly 
furprized the attentive favages, as he thereby had flrongly demon- 
ftrated to them, that vis unit a fortior^ upon which he expatiated, in eafy fine 
language, to the great joy of his red audience. By fuch evidence, they 
were induced to make hands firmly together , and likewife to endeavour 
to preferve a perpetual union with all their neighbouring nations, left the 
wolf mould attack them feparately. And ever fince that impolitic media 
tion, they have been fo ftrongly convinced of their great advantage and fe- 


An Account of the Mufkohge Nation. 281 

curity, by a clofe friendly union with each other, that all the efforts of the 
wife and honeft Georgia patriot, Governor Ellis, in concert with the Indian 
trading merchants, to diflblve it in the year 1760, proved abortive with 
the wary and jealous Mufkohge, while we were at war with the Chee- 
rake and many of the out-fettlers of Georgia and South Carolina were 
plundered and murdered by them, without fparing women or children -, 
many inftances of which we were too often well acquainted with on the 
fpot. The Cheerake, however, flood in fuch great awe of about fixty 
Chikkafah warriors, that except once when they were repulfed by a treble 
inferior number, they durft not attempt any fort of attack on Georgia bar 
riers, during the whole continuance of the war. The wifdom of the ru 
ling members of that weak colony directed them, in their dangerous circum- 
ftances, to chufe the leaftof two evils, to humour, and bear with thofe mif- 
chievous Mufkohge, rather than involve themfelves in a complicated war with 
thofe two confederated nations -, which muft have ruined Georgia, in the 
weak condition it then was. And, notwithftanding they have confiderably 
increafed fince, both in wealth and number of inhabitants, it is probable, 
the colony is now lefs capable of bearing with any fort of firmnefs, a 
fudden mock from thefe favages, than they were at that time. For, 
though the people were then fewer in numbers , yet their fettlements were 
more compact. By this means, they could eafily join in focial defence, on any 
alarm : and, as the circumftances of moft of them did not tempt them to 
enervating luxury, fo the needful exercifes they daily purfued, enabled them 
to make a diverfion of ranging the woods, when occafion required. Plan 
tations are now fettled, often at a great diftance from each other, even to 
the outmoft boundaries of the colony, where commonly the beft gunfmen 
refide, but who probably would be cut off by furprize, at the firft onfet : 
and, lower down, their difperfed fettlements are often feparated, either by 
difficult or unpafTable morafles, flow running black waters, or broken 
falt-water founds -, which of courfe would be a great impediment to the 
people fupporting each other : fo that each plantation is expofed to a 
feparate afTault, by a fuperior body of thofe cunning favages, who attack, 
and fly away like a fudden thunder guft. We have no fure way to fight 
them, but in carrying the war into the bowels of their own country, by a 
fuperior body of the provincial troops, mixed with regulars ; and as we 
can expec"l no mercy in cafe of a defeat, we mould not defpife their power, 
but prepare ourfelves for a fure conqueft. 


C C O U N T 



THE Choktah country lies in about 33 and 34 Deg. N. L. According 
to the courfe of the Indian path, their weftern lower towns are fituated 
two hundred computed miles to the northward of New Orleans ; the upper 
ones an hundred and fixty miles to the fouthward of the Chikkafah nation ; 
150 computed miles to the weft of the late dangerous French Alebahma 
garrifon, in the Mufkohge country ; and 1 50 to the north of Mobille, 
which is the firft fettlement, and only town, except New Orleans, that the 
French had in Weft-Florida. 

Their country is pretty much in the form of an oblong fquare. The 
barrier towns, which are next to the Mufkohge and Chikkafah countries, 
are compactly fettled for focial defence, according to the general method 
of other favage nations ; but the reft, both in the center, and toward the 
Mifllfippi, are only fcattered plantations, as beft fuits a fcparate eafy way 
of living. A ftranger might be in the middle of one of their populous ex- 
tenfive towns, without feeing half a dozen of their houfes, in the direct 
courfe of his path. The French, to intimidate the Englifh traders by the 
prodigious number of their red legions in Weft-Florida, boafted that the 
Choktah confifted of nine thoufand men fit to bear arms : but we find the 
true amount of their numbers, fince Weft-Florida was ceded to us, to be 
not above half as many as the French report afcertained. And, in 
deed, if the French and Spanifh writers of the American Aborigines, had 
kept fo near the truth, as to mix one half of realities, with their flourishing 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 283 

wild hyperboles, the literati would have owed them more thanks than is 
now their due. 

Thofe who know the Choktah, will firmly agree in opinion with the 
French, concerning them, that they are in the highcft degree, of a bafe, 
ungrateful, and thievim difpofition fickle, and treacherous ready-witted, 
and endued with a furprizing flow of fmooth artful language on every fub- 
jed, within the reach of their ideas ; in each of thefe qualities, they far ex^ 
ceed any fociety of people I ever faw. They are fuch great proficients in 
the art of dealing, that in our ftore-houfes, they often thieve while they are 
fpeaking to, and looking the owner in the face. It is reckoned a fhame 
to be detected in the ad of theft ; but, it is the reward they receive, which 
makes it fhameful : for, in fuch a cafe, the trader baftinadoes the covetous 
fmner, almoft as long as he feems fenfible of pain. A few years ago, 
one of the Chikkafah warriors told me, he heard a middle-aged Choktah 
warrior, boaft in his own country, at a public ball-play, of having artfully 
ftolen feveral things from one and another trader, to a confiderable 
amount, while he was cheapening goods of us, and we were blind in our 
own houfes. 

As their country is pleafantly interfperfed with hills, and generally abounds 
with fprings and creeks, or fmall brooks ; and is in a happy climate, it 
is extremely healthful. Having no rivers in their country, few of them can 
fwim, like other Indians ; which often proves hurtful to them, when high 
frefhes come on while they are out at war. Their towns are fettled on 
fmall ftreams that purl into Mobille river, and another a little to the fouth- 
ward of it. Koofah, the largeft town in their nation, lies within 180 miles 
of Mobille, at a fmall diftance from the river which glides by that low, 
and unhealthy old capital. The fummer-breezes pafs by Mobille, in two 
oppofite directions, along the channel of the river-, and very unhealthy va 
pours keep floating over the fmall femicircular opening of the town, wh r ch 
is on the fouth-fide of the river, oppofite to a very low marfh, that was 
formed by great torrents of water, fweeping down rafts of fallen trees, till 
they fettled there, and were mixt with the black foil of the low lands, 
carried, and fubfiding there in the like manner. From 'thence, to 
the oppofice Chore, the river hath a fandy bottom, and at low water 
is fo very fhallow, that a perfon could almoft walk acrofs, though 

O o 2 it 

284 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

it is two leagues broad. The fouthern fide of the river is fo full of great 
trees, that (loops and fchooners have confiderable difficulty in getting up 
abreaft : and for a confiderable diftance from the fea-coaft, the land is low, 
and generally unfit for planting, even on the banks of the river. About 
forty mites up, the French had a fmall fettlement of one plantation deep, 
from the bank of Mobille river. The reft of the land is fandy pine barrens, 
till within forty miles of the Choktah country, where the oak and the hic- 
cory-trees firft appear; from whence, it is generally very fertile, for the 
extenfive fpace of about fix hundred miles toward the north, and in fome 
places, two hundred and fifty, in others, two hundred and fixty in breadth, 
from the Miflifippi : This trad far exceeds the beft land I ever faw be- 
fides in the extenfive American world. It is not only capable of yielding the 
various produce of all our North- American colonies on the main conti 
nent, as it runs from the fouth, towards the north ; but, likewife, many 
other valuable commodities, which their fituation will never allow them to 
raife. From the fmall rivers, which run through this valuable large tract, 
the far-extending ramifications are innumerable ; each abounding with ever 
green canes and reeds, which are as good to raife cattle in winter, as the 
beft hay in the northern colonies. I need not mention the goodnefs of the 
fummer-ranges ; for, where the land is good, it always produces various 
forts of good timber, fuch as oak of different kinds ; hiccory, wall-nut, 
and poplar-trees. The grals is commonly as long and tender, as what the 
beft Englifh meadows yield ; and, if thofe vacant fertile lands of the Mif- 
fifippi were fettled by the remote inhabitants of Virginia, the Ohio, and 
North-Carolina,, they, from a fmall flock, could in a few years raife a 
prodigious number of horfes, horned cattle, flieep, and fwine, without 
any more trouble than branding, marking, and keeping them tame, and 
deftroying the beafts of prey, by hunting them with dogs, and mooting, 
them from the trees. Soon they might raife abundance of valuable produc 
tions, as would both enrich themfelves and their off-fpring, and, at the 
fame time,, add in a very high degree to the naval trade and manufactures, 
of Great-Britain., 

The Choktah flatten their foreheads with a bag of fand, which with* 

great care they keep fattened on the fcull of the infant, while it is in its, 

tender and imperfect ftate. Thus they quite deform their face, and give 

themfelves an appearance, which is difagrceable to any but thofe of their own- 

5 likenefs* 

An Account of the Choktah Nation. 285 

likenefs. Their features and mind, indeed, exactly correfpond together \ 
for, except the intenfe love they bear to their native country, and their 
utter contempt of any kind of danger, in defence of it, I know no other 
virtue they are pofieffed of : the general obfervation of the traders among 
them is juft, who affirm them to be diveded of every property of a human 
being, except fhape and language. Though the French at Mobille, and 
fome at New Orleans, could fpeak the Choktah language extremely well, 
and confequently guide them much better than the Englifh (notwith- 
ftanding we gave them a far greater fupply of every kind of goods than 
they could purchafe) yet, the French allowed none of them arms and am 
munition, except fuch who went to war againft our Chikkafah friends. 
One of thofe outftanding companies was compofed allb of feveral towns; 
for, ufually one town had not more tha,n from five, to feven guns. When 
the owners therefore had hunted one moon, they lent them for hire to 
others, for the like fpace of time , which was the reafon, that their deer- 
Ikins, by being chiefly killed out of feafon, were then much lighter than 
now. The French commandant of Tumbikpe garrifon fupervifed the 
trade, as none was ever chofen to prefide in fo critical a place, unlefs 
well and early acquainted in the dialeft, manners, and cuftoms of 
the favages. The French Indian garrifons confided of chofen pro 
vincial families, who had not the lead fpark of that haughty pride 
and contempt, which is too often predominant, at lead among the 
ignorant part of the foldiery, againd all, except their own fraternity. The 
Choktah were known to be of fo fickle, treacherous, and bloody a difpo- 
fition, that only three or four pedlars were allowed to go among them at a 
time: when they returned to the fort, the fame number went out again,, 
with as many trifles as a fmall barrel would conveniently contain. Thus 
they continued to amufe the favages of low rank, but they always kept 
the head-men in pay. Thefe, at every public meeting, and convenient occafion, 
gave dated energetic orations in praife of the French ; and, by this means, 
the red were influenced. The pedlars thus got almod what they were 
pleafed to afk, in return for their worthlefs trifles. All the way up the 
numerous dreams of the Miffifippi, and down thofe of Canada river, their 
wifdom directed them to keep up the price of their goods, and, by that 
means, they retained the favages in the firmed amity with them ; no trader 
was allowed among them, except thofe of fufficient {kill, in that dangerous 
fphere of life, and of faithful principles to government. The French very 
juftly fay, the Englilh fpoil the favages, wherever their trade extends among 


286 -An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

them. They were too wife ever to corrupt them, according to our modern 
mad fchemes. They had two great annual marts, where the Indians came 
to traffic for their deer-fkins, beaver, and peltry ; the one, at Montreal ; 
and the other, at the Illinois, under the cannon of thofe garrifons. But the 
Philadelphians, in order to ingrofs the trade of the latter place, by a foolifh 
notion of under-felling the old French traders, have ruined, and, as I am 
lately informed, entirely difcontinued it. They who fpeak fo much in favour 
of lowering the Indian trade, ought firft to civilize the favages, and con 
vince them of the abfolute neceffity there is of felling the fame fort of 
goods, at various prices, according to different circumflances, either of 
time or place. While the prefent ill adapted meafures are continued, no 
thing lefs than the miraculous power of deity can poffibly effect the Indians 
reformation -, many of the prefent traders are abandoned, reprobate, 
white favages. Inftead of mewing good examples of moral conduct, be- 
fides their other part of life, they inftruct the unknowing and imitating 
favages, in many diabolical leflbns of obfcenity and blafphemy. 

When the Englim were taking poffeffion of Mobille, the French 
commander had given previous orders to a fkilful interpreter, to in 
form the Choktah, that his Chriftian Majefty, for peace-fake, had given 
up Mobille garrifon to the avaricious Englifli nation ; but at the end of 
three years, the French would return and fee to what purpofe they had ap 
plied it. The Choktah believed the declaration to be as 'true, as if x feveral 
of their old head-men had dreamed it. 'The fore-fighted French knew 
their fickle and treacherous difpofition, and that by this ftory, well fup- 
ported with prefents, they would be able, when occafion required, to ex 
cite them to commence a new war againft us. The mafterly ikill of the 
French enabled them to do more with thofe favages, with trifles, than all 
our experienced managers of Indian affairs have been able to effect, by the 
great quantities of valuable goods, they gave them, with a very profufe 
hand. The former beftowed their fmall favours with exquifite vvifdom ; 
and their value was exceedingly inhanced, by the external kindly beha 
viour, and well adapted fmooth addrefs of the giver. But our wife men 
in this department, beftow the prefents of the government, too often, 
in fuch a manner as to rivet the contempt they have imbibed againft us; 
for I have been frequently upbraided, even by the old friendly Chikkafah, 
when inebriated, that the Englim in general defpifed their friends, and 


An Accomit of the Choktah Nation. 287 

were kindeft to thofe who mod infulted and injured them , and, that the 
fureft way for the red people to get plenty of prefents, was not to deferve 
them, but to aft the murdering part of the ill-hearted Muikohge. In 
confirmation of their flrong invectives, they recited above feventy inftances 
of the Muikohge having murdered the Englifli, not only with impunity, 
but with filent approbation ; as they foon afterward received large prefents, 
which muft be either as a due for the bloodlhed, or tribute given through 
fear. They enumerated fome facts, which were attended with fhocking 
circumtfances : as, an innocent mother of good report, and two of her 
little children, put to (low torture in boiling water j and feveral of the 
like nature, which the Mufkohge themfelves had informed them of 
in a way of boafting, and to induce them to imitate their mifchievous, 
but profitable example. While we bear any cool premeditated acts of 
Indian hoftility with that crouching bafe behaviour, fuch paffive con 
duct will ferve only to tempt the Indians to advance in their favourite 
fcience of blood, and commence a general war. For cowards they always 
infult and defpife, and will go any diftance to revenge the blood of one of 
their tribe, eVen that of an old woman. 

As it was confidently reported, that a military government would be con 
tinued by us in Weil Florida, till it was thick fettled, the French inhabitants 
imagining that event could not happen till doom' , -day, moftly retired to 
New Orleans, in order to mun luch a tyrannic police. They were afraid 
of being impriibned, and whipped, at the Governor's caprice, and even 
for things unnoticeable in the eye of the law ; for as he ruled imperial 
over the foldiery, he would expect all his orders to be readily obeyed 
by every other perfon, without any hefitation. Such things are too com 
mon in a military government, and it v/as fatally experienced in this. In 
order to eftablifh his abfolute power, as the merchants, and other gentlemen 
at Mobille, of generous principles dcfpifed it, he found a plea to contend 
with one of them, though it was both illegal, and entirely out of his element. 
A Choktah having bought a fmall brafs-kettle of one of the principal mer 
chants of that place, was perfuaded by a Frenchman, to return it, bring 
the value to him, and he would give him a better one in its (lead ; for there 
happened to be a very fmall crack of no confequence, and fcarcely dif- 
cernible, juft above the rim. The Indian accordingly went to return it ; 
but the gentleman would not receive it, as it was good, and fairly fold at 

c the 

An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

the ufual price. The Choktah went back to the Frenchman to excufe him- 
felf in not being able to deal with him, as propofed ; who perfuaded him 
to complain to the Governor of the pretended injuftice he had received 
from the merchant he did, and the ruler gladly embraced the opportunity 
to gratify his pride, and aggrandize his power. He immediately fent fome 
of his underlings, with a pofitive verbal command to the gentleman, to 
cancel the bargain with the Choktah, and deliver to him what he claimed, 
on receiving his own : the free-born Briton excufed his non-compliance, in 
a rational and police manner, according to his conftant eafy behaviour. 
Upon this, like a petty tyrant, the chief fent a file of mufqueteers for him. 
When he appeared before his greatnefs, he afierted the common privileges 
of a trading free fubject of Great Britain, with decent firmnefs ; and fet 
forth the ill confequences of giving the troublefome favages an example fo 
hurtful to trade, with other arguments well adapted to the occafion. 
The return was, an order to thruft the gentleman into the black-hole of the 
garrifon, where he was detained and treated as a capital criminal, till, 
by the lofs of health through the dampnefs of that horrid place, the 
love of life prompted him to comply with every demand. Had he 
waited the award of a court-martial, probably he would have had juftice 
done him , for, except a couple of the officers of the commander's own 
principles, all the reft blamed, if not defpifed him for his haughtinefs and 
ungenerous principles. This is a genuine fample of military governments 
the Canadians may expect many fuch inftances of juftice and humanity in 
confequence of the late Quebec ad, if it be not repealed. While this military 
man acted in the magifterial office, though in pain when not triumphing 
over thofe peaceable fubjects who would not ftoop before him below the 
character of freemen, to flatter his lordly ambition ; yet it was affirmed, he 
could not ftand the fight of the inebriated Choktah. One mftance of his 
paflive conduct toward them, deferves to be recorded As the centinels 
at the gates of his houfe, were ftrictly ordered not to refift the favages, 
thefe foon became fo impudent as to infult them at pleafure ; and one of 
them, without the kaft provocation, ftruck a foldier (while on his duty 
(landing centry) with a full bottle on his head, with that violence, as to 
break his fcull ; the unfortunate foldier languiftied, and died, by the 
blow, without the leaft retaliation -, though fo abfolutely needful in our 
early ftate of fettling that part of the continent. 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 289 

"We well know the fate of the Britim Americans in general, as to 
property, liberty, and life, if their court-enemies could but metamorphofe 
them into afles, and quietly impofe upon them military men as gover 
nors, and magiftrates, to inforce a ftrict obedience to their grafping hand, 
and boundlefs will. But, may our wife ftatefmen henceforth rather keep 
them at home, and place them over fuch mean fpirits as have fold their 
birth-rights for a mefs of pottage, and are degenerated from every virtue 
of the true and brave Engliihman ! 

Though the French Americans were as defirous of purchafmg Indian 
deer-fkins and beaver as the Englifli could well be ; yet they wifely de 
clined, where the public peace and fecurity required it. By their wif- 
dom, they employed the favages, as occafion offered, and kept them 
entirely dependant. They diftributed through each nation, a confiderable 
number of medals and flourifhing commifiions, in a very artful gradation, 
fo as to gratify their proud tempers, and obtain an univerfal fway over them. 
They alfo fent a gun-fmith to each of their countries, to mend the locks 
of their guns, at the expence of government : and any warrior who 
brought his chieftain's medal as a certificate, was waited on, and fent off 
with honour, and a very fan grace, to his entire fatisfaction : with this, and 
other inftances of good conduct, they led the favages at pleafure. When the 
French evacuated the Alebahma garrifon, the Mufkohge defpitefully ob 
jected againft receiving any fuch favours from us. Even our old friendly 
Chikkafah were only tantalized with our friendfhip on that occafion, for 
the gun-fmith was recalled which, joined with the reft of the bad con 
duct: of our managers of Indian affairs, vexed them fo exceedingly, that 
they were on the point of committing hoftilities againft us, in the year 
1769 : fo widely different is our Indian-trading conduct from that of the 

They wifely preferred the fecurity of their valuable, but weak coun 
try to the dangerous profits of trade ; they kept the beft orators and the 
head-men as penfioners, on their fide, and employed the reft of the warriors 
in their favourite fcience againft the Chikkafah. As with the high placed 
mercenaries in Great Britain, fo it will be a very difficult tafk (for fome time) 
to manage any of the Indians well, particularly the Choktah, unlefs they in 

P p fome 

290 An Account of tie Choktah Nation. 

fomc manner receive a favourite bribe, under the name of prefents, as 
they ufually had from the French. By reafon of our mifconduct, and 
the foolilh diftribution of prefents, fince Florida was ceded to us, they 
have been twice on the point of breaking with us, though the managers 
of our Indian affairs were at the fame time echoing in the public papers 
of Georgia and South-Carolina, the peaceable and friendly difpofition of 
all the favage nations around the colonies. The Choktah were de- 
figned to ftrike the firft blow on their traders, and immediately to follow it 
on the inhabitants of Mobille ; which, they imagined, they could eafily 
effect by furprife in the night, and To enrich themfelves with an immenfe 
booty. The firft of thofe bloody plans was concerted againft us, October 
the i8th 1765. The caufe of which 1 fhall relate. 

In the eaftern part of the Chikkafah nation, there is a young, and very 
enterprifing war-leader, called " the Torrepine Chieftain," or " The leader 
of the land-tortoife family :" his ambitious temper, which one of the 
traders at firft imprudently fupported againft our old friendly war chieftain,, 
fa-Tab-Mat abab^ has unhappily divided the nation into two parties, which 
frequently act in oppofition to any falutary meafure, which is either pro* 
pofed, or purfued by the other. The Torrepine chief received an embafTy 
from the Mufkohge Great Mortar to engage him againft us, through a 
falfe pretence that we intended to take their lands, and captivate their 
women and children ; as the vaft ftrides we lately made through that exten- 
five tract, from Georgia to New Orleans, and up the MifTifippi, all the 
way to the Illinois, he faid, would clearly convince fo wife a people. He 
exhorted the Choktah war-leaders and old beloved men to roufe their mar 
tial tempers to defend their liberty and property, and preferve their holy 
places, and holy things, from the ambitious views of the impure and co 
vetous Englifh people, to liften to the loud call of liberty, and join heart 
and hand in its generous defence, which they now could eafily effect, by 
crufhing the fnake in its infant ftate ; whereas delay would allow it time 
to collect ftrength, to the utter danger of every thing they held as valu 
able that now was the time to avert thofe dangerous evils,, and that 
their mutual fafety was at ftake. He affured them from repeated expe 
rience, that the very word that could befall them would be only a trifling 
fcolding in their ears, and prefents in their hands to make up the breach. 
The afpiring Chikkafah leader was, in a great meafure, induced to fall 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 291 

in with that cunning deceiver's meafures by having feen above fixty of the 
Mufkohge head-men and warriors, who received confiderable prefents from 
Geo. Johnftone, Efq; Governor of Weil-Florida, at Penfacola. They told 
him our liberality proceeded intirely from fear; that when they killed 
any of our defpicable and helplefs fwarms, they always received the like 
quantity, to quiet the martial hearts of their gallant young warriors ; and 
that the fole reafon we were fo frugal to the Chikkafah, was owing to 
their unwife attachment to us; but if they followed their copy, they 
would foon become as rich as themfelves. 

If the fagacious, and gallant governor could have executed his will* 
they would not have thus boafted he warmly debated in council to order 
each of them to be fecured, as hoftages, and kept aboard a man of war in 
the harbour, till fatisfaction was remitted for the unprovoked, and wil 
ful murders that nation had committed on feveral of his majefty's peace 
able fubjec"ls : but his fpirited refolution was overborne by a confiderable 
majority of votes. However, when they got home, they told our traders 
that his excellency's fpeech was quite different to that of the beloved 
white man, meaning the fuper-intendant, for it was very (harp and wound 
ing ; and that his eyes fpoke, and glanced the fire alfo which was burning 
in his heart. No people are more obfervant of the pafiions in the ho- 
neft face than they. Their eyes and judgment are furprifingly piercing; 
and in confequence of this Governor's open, fleady, virtuous conduct, all 
our neighbouring nations honour and love him, to this very day, 

The Chikkafah chief fent his bloody embafiy to the Choktah by a cunning 
and trufty uncle, who accompanied me to the late Tumbikpe-fort. I 
was ignorant of the mifchievous plan, till we arrived at camp, near the 
Great Red Captain's : there, in bed at night, I plainly overheard the 
whole, and faw the white fwan's wings, and others painted red and black, 
perfuafive and fpeaking emblems of friendfhip to the one party, and war, 
blood, and death to the other. They received thofe bafe tokens, accord 
ing to the mifchievous intention of thofe who fent them. As they are fond 
of novelty, the news was conveyed through the nation, with profound fe- 
crefy : befides, they were very much rejoiced at fo favourable an opportu 
nity of making peace with the Mufkohge, who awed them exceedingly, on 
account of their repeated lofies, which were chiefly occafioned by their want 

Pp 2 Of 

292 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

of (kill in fwimming. Tumbikpe garrifon, a little before this time, was 
very unwifely removed ; but, to fupply that wrong meafure, our fuper- 
intendant of Indian affairs, itationed here one of his reprefentatives. He 
was as much unacquainted with the language, manners, and cuftoms of 
the Indians, as his employer: and yet wrote a confiderable volume how 
to regulate Indian affairs in general, and particularly in the Choktah coun 
try. Befides his want of proper qualifications in fo nice and difficult an 
office, he was in his temper fo turbulent, proud, and querulous, that his 
prefence inftead of quieting the favages, was more than fufficient to dif- 
oblige, and diftract them, in the mod friendly times. He lived in the 
deferted garrifon, as a place of fecurity, kept weighty pullies to the gates, 
and his own door (hut, as if the place had been a monaflery, which was 
the worft meafure he could poffibly have purfued, confidering the proud 
and familiar temper of thofe he had to deal with, and the late foothing 
treatment of the French to them. Kapteny Humma Echeto " the Great 
Red Captain," fent word to him he would call there, on a certain day, to 
confer with him on fome material bulinefs. On account of their fluctuating 
councils in fo weighty an affair as the intended war, he prolonged the 
time of going there, for the fpace of eight days -, the gentleman engaged 
me to flay till the affair was decided. I continued without the leaft re 
luctance, as I faw the black ftorm gathering, and hoped I might be able 
in fome meafure to difpel it. When the Red Captain came, his chief 
bufinefs was to demand prefects, in the fame manner they received 
them from the French, as the war-chiefs and beloved men were grown very, 
poor ; and to know whether our government would enable them to revenge 
their dead, by beftowing on them ammunition to continue the war againft the 
Mufkohge, who highly defpifed us, and frequently committed acts of hofti- 
lity againft our people. Contrary to my advice, he gave a plain nega 
tive to each of his queries, without confidering contingencies Becaufe 
the neighbouring town was filent, and very few of them came near the 
fort, he flattered himfelf that thofe dangerous tokens proceeded intirely 
from the cold reception, and frequent denials he had given them -, and that 
for the future, he could live there in a retired and eafy manner. But 
had he taken the trouble to go among them, as I did, he might have feen 
by their gloomy faces what bitter rancour was in their hearts. Next day, I 
difcovered at the moft unfrequented part of the fort, which was near the 
fouth eaft corner, on the river-fide, that the wary favages had in the night time 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 293 

forced two of the great pofts fo far apart, as one perfon could eafily pafs 
through at a time ; as fuch ocular proof might have made my hoft un- 
eafy, I thought it wrong to moleft his tranquillity by the difcovery. The 
Red Chief would now drink no fpirituous liquors, though I preficd him to 
it. They know their weaknefs then, which might lead them to divulge 
dieir country's fecrets, a great difgrace to a warrior. He went home 
with his heart greatly inebriated however, on account of the flat denials 
he had received ; efpecially, as the warriors would depreciate him for his 
ill fuccefs.. ^v 

In a few days after, I fet off with my red companion, and lay all 
night at the Red Captain's houfe, which ftands in one of their northern 
barrier towns. He walked out with me in the evening, but in his difcourfe, 
he ufed as much evafion and craft, as an old fox in his intricate windings to 
beguile the earned purfuers. At night his houfe was very quiet, as if their 
long heads and treacherous hearts were equally at reft ; but I plainly faw into 
their favourite and laboured plan, and one of their females told me there- 
was at that time, a great many head-men of different towns, at a neighbour 
ing houfe, conferring together concerning the white people ; and that flie 
believed their fpeech was not good, as they did not allow any women or 
boys to hear it. The Red Chief and I parted like courtiers ; it foon began 
to rain, fo as to fwell the waters to fuch a confiderable height, as rendered 
them unpaflable to horfemen, whofe circumftances were not quite defperate. 
The Choktah leader fent a fprightly young man, his nephew, with me, 
under pretence of accompanying me and the above-mentioned Chikkafah 
warrior; but I was not without ftrong fufpicion, that he was fent to moot 
me by furprife, as foon as he heard the whooping death-fignal in pnriuit of 
me. For they had fent runners to call home thofe who were hunting 
in the woods, and the laft company of them we met, reaching our camp in 
the night, ftaid there till the morning. We converfed together with 
out the leaft difguife ; they were confident the traders were killed, and 
their favourite war. and death-cry would foon reach their liftening ears. 
I thought it improper to make a jeft of fo ferious an affair, and determined 
to fet off, though my red companions endeavoured to delay me as much as 
they could. Early in the morning I ''took out my faddle, which the Choktah 
mentioned to the others through a fufpicion I intended to make my efcape : 
but they quieted his jealoufy, by telling him I did fo, only becanfe I was lazy. 
to walk.' About half a mile from camp, I foon catched and mounted one of 
3 m 7 

dn -Account of the Choktah Nation* 

my horfes, and fet off, keeping clear of the trading path for about four miles, 
in order to perplex any purfuers that might be fent after me. When my horfe 
tired, I led it on foot through the pathlefs woods about fifty miles, and heard 
no more of them. Had the Choktah known how to obtain a fufficient fupply 
of ammunition, they would at this very time, have commenced war againft 
us. That only checked their bloody aim, to their unfpeakable grief, and 
prevented our being engaged in a dangerous war. 

All our Indian-traders well know, that the mifconduft and obflinacy of 
the firft fuper-intendant of Indian affairs, was the fole occafion of irritating 
the Great Mortar to become bitter-hearted againft us, and devoting him- 
felf with a blood-thirfty defire to injure us, wherever his black policy could 
reach. And as the firft, by his ftiff behaviour fet on the Mortar, his fuc- 
cefTor, by ill-timed prefents inftead of demanding fatisfaclion, gave him as 
good an opportunity as he could have defired, to imprefs the warriors of 
his own and other nations, with a ftrong opinion of our timid difpofition, 
and incapacity of oppofing them. The imprefiion of Governor Johnftone's 
fpeech, plainly declares they would not have been fo weak as to utter their 
bafe threats againft us, to the Chikkafah leader at Penfacola, only that 
they were previoufly corrupted by the mifmanagement of Indian affairs. I 
am well allured, they frequently applauded his martial conduft when they 
returned home, and faid he was a man and a warrior, which is as great an 
encomium, as they can beftow on any mortal. May Weft-Florida, and 
New Georgiana on the extenfive and fertile lands of the meandring Mifli- 
fippi, have a continual fucceffion of fuch chief magiftrates as Mr. John- 
ftone, and his worthy fucceflbr Montfort Browne, Efq-, to ftudy and pro 
mote the public good, and caufe the balance of juftice to be held with an 
even hand ! 

The following relation will ferve to difplay what {hould be our manner of 
treating the Indians A white man, onMobille river, fold fpirituous liquors 
to a couple of the Choktah, till they were much intoxicated, and unable to 
purchafe any more ; he then ftrcnuoufly denied to credit them : their ufual 
burning rhirft exciting them to drink more, they became too troublefome for 
any fpirited perfon to bear with. He took up an ax, at firft in his own 
.defence, but when they endeavoured to run off, he, in the heat of paffion 
purfued, and unhappily killed one of them. The other ran, and told his 
3 relations 

An Account of the Choktah Nation. 295 

relations the fad difafter. Prefently, nothing could be heard through the 
nation, but heavy murmurs and fharp threats. Governor Johnftone had the 
murderer Toon apprehended, and confined him to be tried in due courfe of 
law. This delay of executing juftice on one, and' whomv we only fecured 
from their refentment as they imagined, tempted them to think on a general 
maflacre. Soon after the fitting of the general court, their revengeful 
hearts became eafy : for the man was fairly tried, and condemned, becaufe 
he did not kill the favage in his own defence, but while he was re 
treating from him. I have reafon to believe the Indians would not have 
allowed the French, when in garrifon among them, to delay mooting 
any of their people, whom they but even fufpected of having killed the 
meaneft of their kindred : for, in the year 1740, the Mufkohge, on a falfe 
fufpicion, forced the commanding officer of the Alebahma garrifon, by 
their loud threats, to kill one of the militia foldiers. When they were 
leading him to the place of execution, he requefted the favour of a bottle 
of wine, to enable him to die with the firm conftancy of an honeft French 
warrior : he received, and drank it off, and declared his innocence of the 
imputed -crime, with his laft words. The fignal was given, and the foldiers, 
by order, quickly (hot the unfortunate man. But the Englifliman, who 
had been likewife a foldier, would not have been condemned by the mere 
afiertion of the Choktah favage, coft what it would ; as it was both re 
pugnant to our law, and too dangerous a precedent to give to fo treach 
erous a people. He was juftly condemned on his companion's oath. His 
excellency Governor Johnftone acted fo fairly and tenderly in this affair, 
that, by his requeft, one of the Chikkafah traders was fummoned to fit on 
the trial, as he or' a long time knew the bafe difpofition of the Choktah ; 
but no favourable circumftances appearing on his fide, he was condemned. 

Although the Choktah had their defired revenge, yet, when their leader 
came parading into Tumbikpe garrifon, with a gun he had taken from a 
white man, whom he murdered on the Chikkafah trading path ; our fuper- 
intendant's reprefentative mamefully refufed to act the part of the magi- 
ftrate, or to impower the commanding officer of the Fort tofecure the mur 
derer, though he prefied him with manly earneftnefs, and protefted that he 
would gladly confine him, were it not contrary to the tenour of his com- 
aiiffion. The favage having boafted a while after his triumphal entrance, 


296 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

returned exultingly to his country-men, to the fhame and regret of the 
traders. Our white beloved man thought himfelf beft employed in other 
affairs than thefe, and doubtlefs, profitable family jobbs ought to be well 

His fuccefibr was equally fkilful in managing the Indians as himfelf, 
though much his inferior. His only merit was, the having been a 
clerk to the Chikkafah white beloved man, who refigned his place, on 
account of the difcontinuance of his Britifli pay. He corrupted and 
praclifed with the Indians, according to the fyftem his teacher pur- 
fued. One inftance, among many, will (hew this : a gentleman came to 
view the Mifiifippi lands, from the fettlements which are on the Yad- 
kin, a large and beautiful river, that, after gliding down 300 miles 
to the Sand-hill, Wilmington, and the wafte Brunfwick, is (tiled Cape- 
Fear-River. He was highly pleafed with the foil, climate, and fituation of 
the lands he came in queft of: but told me, in a humorous manner, that, 
when he was at a French man's houfe, on the Spanifh fide of the river, a 
very lufly Choktah called there, in company with others upon a hunt. 
As the French Choktah was defirous of ingratiating himfelf into the 
favour of the hoft, he began to ridicule my friend with geftures, and 
mocking language : the more civilly the Englifibman behaved, fo much 
the more impudently the favage treated him. At length, his paf- 
fions were inflamed, and he fuddenly feized him in his arms, carried him a 
few fteps off, and threw him down the bank into the MifTifippi. The 
laugh now turned againil him loud ; for, if the Indians faw their grand 
mother break her neck by a fall from a horfe, or any other accident, they 
would whoop and halloo. The Baptift, or dipped perfon, came out 
amamed, but appeared to be very good-humoured after his purification, as 
he found he had not one of the French wood-peckers to deal with. 
However, one night, when the gentleman was on his return, the 
favages purfued, and endeavoured to kill him, and did feize his horfes 
and baggage. He had a narrow efcape for his life before he came 
to Quanflieto, where the towns-people of the late Great Red Shoes had fet 
tled, and our white beloved man refided. He made his complaint to him, 
which might have been expected to produce both pity and juftice in any 
heart that was not callous. But, inftead of endeavouring to redrefs his 
grievance, which he could have eafily effected, he aggravated his fufferings 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 297 

by abufe. As the favage had been brought up with the Englifli traders, fo , 
as to be called the boy of one of them, and lived in Ta/Jjw., the town of 
the prefent Red Shoes, our chief could eafily have had every thing returned, 
had he only demanded it in form. But, like his predeceflbr, he endea 
voured to keep in with the Indians he deemed their favourable re 
port of his friendly conduct toward them, to be the main point he ought 
to obferve, in order to fecure the embafTy from iuffering damage, what 
ever became of truth, orjuftice. 

The Choktah have a remote, but confiderable town, called 
which is the name of a worm that is very deftruclive to corn in a wet fea- 
fon. It lies forty miles below the feven fouthernmoft towns of the nation, 
toward Mobille, and 120 computed miles from thence, on a pleafant fmall 
river, that runs fouth of the town. As it is a remote barrier, it is 
greatly harrafied by the Mufkohge, when at war with them. Here, a com 
pany of them came lately looking for prey ; but miffing it, as the Choktah 
were apprized, and (laid at home, their pride and difappointment excited 
them to injure thofe ftrangers who chanced to fall in their way. About 
fix miles below die town, they came to the camp of two white men, who 
werejuft ready to fet off to Mobille, with loaded horfes; being refolved 
not entirely to mifs their errand of blood and plunder, they attacked 
them with their tomohawks, cautious of not alarming the neighbouring 
enemy by the report of their guns. They fpeedily difpatched one of them ; 
but the other being ftrong bodied, very fiery, and defperate, held them a 
fharp druggie, as it appeared afterward : his gun was found much battered, 
and the long grafs quite beat down for a confiderable way round the place 
where the Yowanne Indians found him fufpended in the air. For as foon 
as thofe favages perpetrated that diabolical aft, they hanged each of 
them on trees, with the horfes halters, and carried away fix of the horfes 
loaded with dreft deer-fkins, as far as Mobille-river. Minggo Humma 
Ecbeto, the Great Red Chieftain, of the aforefaid town, on his return 
from war with the Mufkohge, fortunately intercepted them, killed and 
icalped two, and retook the horfes and leather. Thefe, he fent home, as he 
imagined the owner then refided in the nation, and would gladly redeem 
them with reafonable prefents : while he went down to Mobille to fhew his 
trophies of war, in full hopes of getting a new fupply of ammunition from 
the deputy fuper-intendant, to be ufed againft the common enemy. He 
flattered himfelf that tfae fcalps. brought into our maritime town, in folemn 


2g 8 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

triumph, would prove a gladfome fight to our people, and enlarge their 
hearts towards him and his fatigued poor warriors. But he perceived no 
thing of this kind, of which he complained to me with very fiharp language, 
and returned home, highly incenfed againfl his new Englifh friends. 

I have reafon to remember this too well ; for, a little after thofe 
white men were murdered, bufmefs calling me to Mobille by myfelf, I chofe 
to decline the eaftern path, and the middle one that leads by the Chakchooma 
old fields, as they were much expofed to the incurfions of the Mufkohge , 
and rode through the chief towns of the nation, along the horfe-path that 
runs from the Chikkafah, neareft the Miffifippi, to Mobille. \ About fix miles 
below the feven-towns that lie clofe together, and next to New Orleans, I 
met a confiderable party of the leaders and head-warriors returning home 
from war. We ihook hands together, and they feemed very glad to fee me. 
They earneftly difiuaded me from proceeding any farther, advifed me to re 
turn to their friendly towns, and reft awhile among them, declaring, that if 
my ears were mad, and would not hear their friendly fpeech, I mould furely 
be killed, the enemy were ranging the woods fo very thick. They were- 
good judges of the danger, as they knew the treacherous plan they had con 
certed together at Towanne, But the memory of pad times, moved them- 
to give me that kindly caution. I thanked them, and faid, I wifhed 
bufmefs allowed me to act according to their advice, and accept of 
their generous invitation , but it did not : however, if my limited days were 
not finimed, before, I would fhortly have the pleafure to fee them again. I 
proceeded, and met feveral parties of the fame main company, feveral 
miles diftant from each other, carrying fmall pieces of a fcalp, finging the. 
triumphal fong, and founding the Ihrill death-whoop, as if they had killed 
hundreds. On my refting and fmoking with the lad party,, they informed 
me, that their camp confifted of two hundred and fifty warriors, under great 
leaders, who were then returning from war againft a town of the Koo- 
faahte Indians, who had fettled twenty-five miles above Mobille, on the 
eaftern fide of the river ; that they had killed and wounded feveral of them, 
fufpecling them of abetting the Mufkohge, and fortunately got one of 
their fcalps, which the warriors of feparate towns divided, and were carry 
ing home, with joyful hearts. 

A ftranger would be much furprifed to fee the boafting parade thefe 
&va,ges made with one fcalp of a reputed enemy. To appearance, more. 

j4n Account of the Choktah Nation. 299 

than a thoufand men, women, lufty boys, and girls, went loaded with 
provifions to meet them , and to dance, fing, and rejoice at this camp, for 
their fuccefs in war, and fafe return. Their camps were made with 
the green bark and boughs of trees, and gave a ftriking picture of the 
eafy and fimple modes of early ages. Their chieftains and great war 
riors fat in ftate, with the afiuming greatnefs of the ancient fenators of 
imperial Rome. I had the honour to fit awhile with them, and was di 
verted with the old circling and wheeling dances of the young men and 
women. I fmoked with them, and then took my leave of this laft camp of 
rejoicing heroes. The Choktah are the moft formal in their addrefTes, of 
all the Indian nations I am acquainted with : and they reckon the neglect 
of obferving their ufual ceremonies, proceeds from contempt in the traders, 
and from ignorance in ftrangers. 

I encamped early, and within two leagues of Towanne* as it feemed to be a 
good place for killing wild game. I imagined alfo, that here the people were 
awed by the Mufkohge from ranging the woods, but, it happened other- 
wife : for, foon after the horfe-bells began to ring, two fprightly young fel 
lows came through the cane-fwamp, and as enemies, they crawled up the 
fteep bank of the creek, near to me, before I difcovered them. My fire 
arms were clofe at hand, and I inftantly flood on my guard. They looked 
earneftly around, to fee for the reft of my company, as it is very unufual for 
any of the traders, to take that journey alone. I afked them who they 
were, from whence they came, and what they were fo earneftly fearching 
for. They evaded anfwering my queries, and afked me if I did not 
come by myfelf. I told them, without hefitation, that fome way behind, 
my companion rode out of the path to kill deer, as his gun was good, 
and he could ufe it extremely well. On this, they fpoke a little together, 
with a low voice ; and then told me, that they belonged to Towanne^ 
and were part of a hunting camp, which was near at hand, and in view 
of the path. I afked them to fie down, which they did, but their difcourfe 
was difagreeable, as my fuppofed fellow-traveller was the chief fubjefl of it. 
They faid they would go back to their camp, and return to mine foon, to 
fee whether the white man was come from hunting. They went, and were 
as good as their word ; for, they did me the honour to pay me a fecond 
vifit. As they were fo very earneft in that which did not concern them, 
unlefs they had ill intentions, the fight of them would have inftantly in 
flamed the heart of one not infected with ftoicilin, to wifli for a proper 


3 oo An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

place to make a due retribution. At this time, the fun was near three 
hours from fetting. The white hunter's abfence was the firft and chief fab- 
ject of their difcourfe, till evening. As on a level place, all the favages fit 
crofs-legged, fo my vifitors did, and held their guns on their knee, or 
kept them very near, with their otter-lkin fhot pouch over one of their 
fhoulders, as is ufual in time of danger. I obferved their mifchievous eyes, 
inftead of looking out eailwardly toward the Mufkohge country, were ge 
nerally pointed toward the N. W. the way I had come. As by chance, I 
walked near to one of them, he fuddenly fnatched up his gun. No 
friendly Indians were ever known to do the. like, efpecialiy fo near home, 
and a confiderable camp of his own people : innocence is not fufpicious, 
but guilt. He knew his own demerit, and, perhaps imagined I knew it, 
from concurring circumftances. To fee whether his conduct proceeded 
from a fear of danger, or from accident, I repeated the trial, and he did. 
the fame ; which confirmed me in my opinion of their bafe intentions. 

In this uneafy and reftlefs manner we continued till fun-fet, when 
one of them artfully got between me and my arms. Then they or 
dered me to (lop the bells of my horfes, which were grazing near the 
camp, (ufed partly on account of the number of big flies that infefl the 
country.) I afked them the reafon they told me, becaufe the noife 
frightened away the deer. I took no notice at firft of their haughty 
command, but they repeated it with fpiteful vehemence, and I was- 
forced to obey their mandate. They looked, and liftened earneftly 
along the edge of the fwamp, but being difappointed of their ex 
pected additional prey, in about the fpace of ten minutes they ordered 
me to open the bells again. Of the manifold dangers I ever was 
in, I deemed this by far the greateft, for I ftood quite defencelefs. 
Their language and behaviour plainly declared their mifchievous defigns. 
I expected every minute to have been fhot down : and though I endea 
voured to fhew a manly afpect, the cold fweat trickled down my face 
through uneafinefs, and a crowd of contrary paflions. After fome time, in 
this alarming fituation, they told me the ugly white man ftaid long, and: 
that they would go to their camp a little while, and return again, 
they did as they faid. To deceive them, I had made my, bed as for 
two people, of foftened bear and buffalo (kins, with the long hair and 
wool on, and blankets. My two watchmen came the third time, 
accompanied with one older than themfelves : he fpoke little, was artful, 

7 and 

An Account of /^'Choktah Nation. 301 

and very defigning. They feemed much concerned at the abfence of my 
fuppofed companion, left he fhould by unlucky mifchance be bewildered, 
or killed by the Mufkohge. I gave them feveral reafons to Ihcw the 
futility of their kindly fears, and allured them he ufually ftaid late to 
barbicue the meat, when he killed much, as he could not otherways bring 
it to camp-, but that he never failed, on fuch an occafion, to come fome 
time in the night. The cunning fox now and then afked me a ftudied 
fhort queftion, in the way of crofs examination, concerning the main 
point they had in view, and my anfwers were fo cool and uniform, that 
I almoil perfuaded them firmly to credit all I faid. When he could no 
way trepan me, and there was filence for feveral minutes, he afked me, 
if I was not afraid to be at camp alone. I told him I was an Englifh 
warrior, my heart was honeft and as I fpoiled nobody, why mould I 
be afraid ? Their longing eyes by this time were quite tired. The 
oldeft of them very politely took his leave of me in French ; and the 
others, through an earned friendly defire of fmoking, and chatting a little 
with my abfent companion, told me at parting, to be fure to call them, by 
founding the news-whoop, as foon as He arrived at camp. I readily pro- 
mifed to comply, for the fake of the favour of their good company: 
and to prevent any fufpicion of the truth of &$ tale, I added, that if 
he failed in his ufual good luck, they ought to fupply us with a leg of 
v^nifon, or we would give them as much, if he fucceeded. 

And now all was well, at leaft, with me; for I rook time by the 
fore-lock, and left them to echoe the news-whoop. Towgnne lay nearly 
fouth-eaft from me ; but to avoid my being either intercepted on the 
path, , or heard by the quick-ear'd favages, I went a quarter of a mile up 
the large cane fwamp, and pafled through it on a fouth weft courfe, but 
very flow, as it was a dark thicket of great canes and vines, over-topped with 
large fpreading trees. I feldom had a glimpfe of any ftar to direct my 
courfe, the moon being then far fpent. About an hour before day-light, I 
heard them from the top of an high hill, fire off a gun at camp; which I 
fuppofed was when they found me gone, and in order to decoy my fup 
pofed companion to anfwer them with the like report ; conjecturing he 
would imagine it was I who fired for him, according to cuftom in fimi- 
lar cafes. I kept nearly at the diftance of three miles from the path, till I 
arrived at the out-houfes of Ybwanne. As I had never before feen that 
town, nor gone to Mobille that way, one of the warriors at my requeft 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

conducted me to the river, which we waded bread-high, and went to the 
palifadoed fort of Minggo Humma Ecbeto, which flood commodioufly 
on the bank of the river. He received and treated me very kindly j I con 
cealed what befel me at camp, though I had reafon to believe, he was in 
formed of my efcape by a runner, as I faw frefh tracks when I re 
turned. I pretended to have come from camp, only to confer with him, 
concerning the fituation of Mobille path, and follow his advice, either 
to proceed on, or return home, being convinced fo great a chieftain 
as he, who lived in defiance of the Mufkohge on that remote barrier, 
muft be a better judge, than any of thofe I had met. Fie commended 
me for my caution, and allured me there were feveral companies of the 
Mufkohge, then out at war on the path , and that as they hated and de- 
fpifed the Englifh, they would furely kill me, if I continued my jour 
ney. I thanked him for his friendly caution, and told him it fhould not 
fall to the ground. I foon difcovered his great refentment againfl the 
Englim, on account of the impolitic and unkind treatment he had re 
ceived at Mobille. He reafoned upon it with flrong natural good fenfe, 
and mewed me in his mufeum, the two red-painted fcalps of the Mufkohge 
who had murdered our people, and left them in contempt hanging like 
mangy dogs, with a horfe's rope round each of their necks. He then 
(hewed me the fiouriming commiffions he had received from both French and 
Englifli. He defcanted minutely on the wife and generous liberality of the 
former, on every material occafion i and on the niggardly difpofition and 
difcouraging condu<5l of the latter, when they ought to flretch out both 
their hands to thofe red people who avenged their wrongs, and brought 
them the fcalps of the very enemy who had lately med their blood. 
The French never fo flarved the public caufe; and though they fre 
quently gave fparingly, they bellowed their favours with a winning grace, 
and confummate wifdom. 

This .conduct of ours excited the crafty Minggo Humma Ecbcto* to give loofe 
to his vindictive temper -, and at the fame time, to make it coincide with the 
general welfare of his country. For as the Mufkohge had proved an over 
match for them in almofl every engagement, and had lately committed hofti- 
lities againfl: us in their neighbourhood, he perfuaded thofe head-men I 
had met, when convened in a council of war, that if they with proper fe- 
crefy repeated the like hoflile act on any of our people who firft came 
jt'hat way, and reported it to have been done by the Mufkohge, it would 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 303 

certainly obtain that favourite point they had long wifhed for, of drawing 
us into an alliance with them againft the common enemy, as we muft have fome 
of the inward feelings of men for our loft people. Probably, the decree of 
that red council would have been foon put in execution had it not been for 
me. When I took my leave of the red chief to return, the drum was beat 
to convene the people to tell them the caufe of my coming to him, and re 
turning home ; and that as the women and children had feen me in the 
town, their late plan of execution muft be entirely laid afide. One of the 
warriors was fent to accompany me, though rather by way of efcortment. 
In my return I called at the before mentioned camp, and put up the whoop ; 
my two former watchmen, on feeing me, refembled wolves catched in a pity 
they hung down their heads, and looked gloomy, and wrathful. I afked them 
why they were amamed, and why their hearts weighed fo heavy ; they faid 
they were amamed for me, I was fo great a liar, and had earneftly told them 
fo many ugly falfhoods. I faid, my fpeech to them could hurt no honeft 
perfons. My head, my eyes, my heart, affured me their hearts were then 
like the fnakes ; and my tongue only fpoke the fpeech of honeft wifdom, 
fo as to fave myfelf from being bitten That it was the property of poifonous 
fnakes, when they mils their aim, to be enraged, and hide their heads in 
their hateful coil ; and concluded, by telling them I went through the 
woods to Yowanne, to mew them publicly I was not hurt by lurking 
fnakes and that I would now return to the harmlefs Chikkafah, and tell 
them fo on this we parted.. 

A timely application of proper meafures with the favages, is our only 
method to fecure their feeble affections. If thofe, who are employed for 
that falutary purpofe, juftly purfued that point, its effect would loon be 
openly declared, by the friendly behaviour and honeft conduct of the va 
rious weftern nations. But where intereft governs, iniquitous meafures are 
purfued, and painters can be got who will flatter the original, be it ever 
fo black. Some of our chiefs, with a certain military officer in Weft-Flo 
rida, like trembling mice, humbly voted not to demand any fatisfacYion 
from the favages, for that moft mocking aft of cool murder I have juft 
mentioned, Ivft it mould provoke them to do us more milchief. But to the 
honour of George Johnftone, Efqj then Governor of Weft-Florida, as a. 
reprefentative of the fuffering people, he defpifed fuch obfequious and pu- 
fillanimous councils, and infilled, in his ufual manly manner, on an equal 
7 revenge 

304 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

revenge of blood, and had it fpeedily granted, as far as the fituation of af 
fairs could poflibly allow : for by a council of the red Sanhedrim, they con 
demned three of the chief murderers to be killed, and formally fent 
down to him two of their fcalps to ftop the loud voice of blood : but the 
third made off to the Cheerake, by which means he evaded his juftly de- 
ferved fate and too nice a fcrutiny at fuch a time would not have been 
convenient. All the weftern Indian nations, bear the higheft regard to 
that paternal governor, and plain friend of all the people : and I record 
his conduct to do juftice to fo uncommon a character in America, as 
well as to engage his fuccefibrs to purfue the fame meafures, and copy 
after, him. 

The Choktah, by not having deep rivers or creeks to purify them- 
felves by daily ablutions, are become very irreligious in other refpects, for 
of late years, they make no annual atonement for fin. As very few 
of them can. fwim, this is a full proof that the general opinion of the young 
brood of favages being able to fwim like fim, as foon as they come 
into the world, ought to be intirely exploded. The Indian matrons have 
fenfe enough to know, that the fwimming of human creatures is an 
art to keep the head above water, which is gained by experience ; and that 
their helplefs infants are incapable of it. Probably, the report fprung from 
their immerfing the new-born infants in deep running water by the way 
of purification. 

The Choktah are the craftieft, and moft ready-witted, of any of the 
red nations I am acquainted with. It is furprifing to hear the wily 
turns they ufe, in perfuading a perfon to grant them the favour they have 
in view. Other nations generally behave with modefty and civility, with 
out ever leffening themfeives by afking any mean favours. But the 
Choktah, at every feafon, are on the begging lay. I feveral times told 
their leading men, they were greater beggars, and of a much meaner 
fpirir, than the white-haired Chikkafah women, who often were real 
objects of pity. I was once fully convinced that none was fo fit to baffle 
them in thofe low attempts without giving offence, as their own coun 
try-men. One, in my prefence, expatiated on his late difappointment and 
lofles, with the feverai unexpected caufes, and preflingly follicited his 
auditor as a benevolent kinfman, to aflift him in his diftrefs : but the other 


An Account of the Choktah Nation, 305 

kept his ear deaf to his importunity, and entirely evaded the artful aim of 
the petitioner, by carrying on a difcourfe he had begun, before his rela 
tion accofted him as a fuppliant. Each alternately began where they 
had left off, the one to inforce the compliance of his prayer, and the other, 
like the deaf adder, to elude the power of its charming him. Nature has 
in a very furprifing manner, endued the Indian Americans, with a ftrong 
comprehenfive memory, and great flow of language. I liftened with clofe 
attention to their fpeeches, for a confiderable time ; at laft the petitioner 
defpairing of imprefling the other with fentiments in his favour, was forced 
to drop his falfe and tragical tale, and become feemingly, a patient hearer 
of the conclufion of the other's long narrative,- which was given him with 
a great deal of outward compofure, and cool good-nature. 

In the years 1746 and 1747, I was frequently perplexed by the Choktah 
mendicants ; which policy directed me to bear, and conceal as well as I 
could, becaufe I was then tranfacYmg public bufinefs with them. In 1747, 
one of their warriors and a Chokchooma came to me for prefents ; which 
according to my ufual cuftom in thofe times, I gave, though much lefs 
than they prefumed to expect. The former, ftrongly declaimed againft 
the penurious fpirit of the French, and then highly applauded the open 
generous tempers of the Englifh traders : for a confiderable time, he con- 
trafted them with each other, not forgetting, in every point of compa- 
rifon, to give us the preference in a high degree. He was endued with 
fo much eloquence and fkill as to move the paffions, and obtain his point. 
A confiderable number of Chikkafah warriors who were prefent, told me 
foon after, that his fkilful method of addrefling me for a bottle of fpiri- 
tuons liquors, feemed to them aftonifhing : an old beloved man replied, 
that the worft fort of fnakes were endued with the greateft fkill to infnare 
and fuck their prey, whereas, the harmlefs have no fuch power. 

The Indians in general do not chufe to drink any fpirits, unlefs they can 
quite intoxicate themfelves. When in that helplefs and fordid condition, 
weeping and afking for more ookka boome, " bitter waters," I faw one of 
the drunkard's relations, who fome time before had taken *a like dofe, hold 
the rum-bottle to the other's head, faying, when he had drank deep, " Hah, 
you were very poor for drinking." Though I appealed to all the Chik 
kafah warriors prefent, that rum never ftood on hand with me, when the 

R r people 

306 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

people were at home, and feveral times affirmed to the importunate Chok 
tah, that it was entirely expended -, yet my denial ferved only to make him 
more earned : upon this, I told him, that though I had no ookka hoome, I 
had a full bottle of the water of ane boome, " bitter ears," meaning long 
pepper, of which he was ignorant, as he had feen none of that kind. We 
were of opinion that his eager thirft for liquor, as well as his ignorance of 
the burning quality of the pepper, and the refemblance of the words-, which 
fignify things of a hot, though different nature, would induce the baccha 
nal to try it. He accordingly applauded my generous difpofition, and faid, 
" his heart had all the while told him I would not acl beneath the charac 
ter I bore among his country-people." The bottle was brought : I laid it 
on the table, and told him, as he was then fpitting very much, (a general 
euftom with the Indians, when they are eager for any thing) " if I drank it 
all at one fitting, it would caufe me to fpit in earned, as I ufed it, only 
when I ate, and then very moderately , but though I loved it, if 
his heart was very poor for it, I mould be filent, and not in the lead 
grudge him for pleafing his mouth." He faid, " your heart is honeft in 
deed ; I thank you, for it is good to my heart, and makes it greatly to 
rejoice." Without any farther ceremony, he feized the bottle, uncorked it, 
and fwallowed a large quantity of the burning liquid, till he was near 
fbrangled. He gafped for a confiderable time, and as foon as he reco 
vered his breath, he faid Hab, and foon after kept ftroaking his throat 
with his right hand. When the violence of this burning draught was pretty 
well over, he began to fiourim away, in praife of the ftrength of the- 
liquor, and bounty of the giver. He then went to his companion, and held 
the bottle to his mouth, according to euftom, till he took feveral hearty fwal- 
lows. This Indian Teemed rather more fenfible of its fiery quality, than the 
other, for it fuffocated him for a confiderable time; but as foon as he reco 
vered his breath, he tumbled about on the floor in various poftures like a 
drunken perfon, overcome by the force of liquor. In this manner, each 
of them renewed their draught, till they had finifhed the whole bottle, 
into which two^ others had been decanted. The Chikkafah fpeclators 
were furprifed at their taftelefs and voracious appetite, and laughed heartily 
at them, mimicking the aftions, language, and gefture of drunken fa- 
vages. The burning liquor fo highly inflamed their bodies, that one of 
the Choktah to cool his inward parts, drank water till he almoft burft : the 
other rather than bear the ridicule of the people, and the inward fire that 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 307 

diftracted him, drowned himfelf the fecond night after in a broad and {hal 
low clay hole, contiguous to the dwelling houfe of his uncle, who was the 
Chikkafah Archimagus. 

There was an incident, fomething fimilar, which happened in the year 
1736, in Kanootare, the moft northern town of the Cheerake. When all the 
liquor was expended, the Indians went home, leading with them at my re- 
queft, thofe who were drunk. One, however, foon came back, and eameftly 
importuned me for more Nawohti, which fignifies both phyfic and fpirituous 
liquors. They, as they are now become great liars, fulpect all others of 
being infected with their own difpofition and principles. The more I ex- 
cufed myfelf, the more anxious he grew, fo as to become offenfive. I then 
told him, I had only one quarter of a bottle of ftrong phyfic, which fick 
people might drink in fmall quantities, for the cure of inward pains : and 
laying it down before him, I declared I did not on any account choofe to 
part with it, but as his fpeech of few words, had become very long and 
troublefome, he might do juft as his heart directed him concerning it. He 
took it up, laying his heart was very poor for phyfic, but that would cure 
it, and make it quite ftreight. The bottle contained almolt three gills of 
ftrong fpirits of turpentine, which in a fhort time, he drank off. Such a 
quantity of the like phyfic would have demolifhed me, or any white perfon. 
The Indians in general, are either capable of fuffering exquifite pain longer 
than we are, or of mewing more conftancy and compofure in their tor 
ments. The troublefome vifitor foon tumbled down and foamed prodigi- 
oufly. I then fent for fome of his relations to carry him home. They 
came I told them he drank greedily, and too much of the phyfic. They 
faid, it was his ufual cuftom, when the red people bought the Englifh phyfic. 
They gave him a decoction of proper herbs and roots, the next day fweated 
him, repeated the former draught, and he foon got well. As thofe tur 
pentine fpirits did not inebriate him, but only inflamed his inteftines, he 
well remembered the burning quality of my favourite phyfic, which he had 
fo indifcreetly drank up, and cautioned the reft from ever teizing me for 
any phyfic I had concealed, in any fort of bottles, for my own ufe ; other- 
\ufe they might be fure it would fpoil them, like the eating of fire. 

The Choktah are in general more (lender than any other nation of ra 
vages I have feen. They are raw-boned, and furprifingly active in ball- 

R r 2 playing j 

308 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

playing-, which is a very (harp exercife, and requires great ftrength and 
exertion. In this manly exercife, no perfons are knov/n to be equal to 
them, or in running on level ground, to which they are chiefly ufed from 
their infancy, on account of the fituation of their country, which hath 
plenty of hills, but no mountains , thefe lie at a confiderable diftance be 
tween them and the Mufkohge. On the furvey of a prodigious fpace of 
fertile land up the Miflifippi, and its numberlefs fine branches, we found 
the mountains full three hundred miles from that great winding mafs of 

Though the lands of Weft-Florida, for a confiderable diftance from 
the fea-fhore, are very low, four, wet, and unhealthy, yet it abounds 
with valuable timber for (hip-building, which could not well be ex 
pended in the long fpace of many centuries. This is a very material 
article to fo great a maritime power, as Great Britain, efpecially as 
it can be got with little expence and trouble. The French were faid 
to deal pretty much that way ; and the Spaniards, it is likely, will 
now refume it, as the bounty of our late miniftry has allowed the French 
to transfer New-Orleans to them, and by that means they are able to dif- 
turb the Britim colonies at pleafure. It cannot fail of proving a conftant 
bone of contention : a few troops could foon have taken it during the late 
war, for it was incapable of making any confiderable refiftance ; and even 
French effrontery could not have prefumed to withhold the giving it up, if the 
makers of our laft memorable peace had not been fo extremely modeft, or 
liberal to them. If it be allowed that the firft difcoverers and pofleflbrs of 
a foreign wafte country, have a juft title to it, the French by giving up New 
Orleans to Great Britain, would have only ceded to her, poffeflions, which 
they had no right to keep ; for Col. Wood was the firft difcoverer of the 
Miflifippi, who ftands on public record, and the chief part of ten years he 
employed in fearching its courfe. This fpirited attempt he began in the 
year 1654, and ended 1664. Capt. Bolton made the like attempt, in the 
year 1670. Doclor Cox of New Jerfey fent two fhips Anno 1698, which 
djfcovered the mouth of if, and having failed a hundred miles up, he took 
poffefTion of the whole country, and called it Carojana : whereas the French 
did not difcover it till the year 1699, when they gave it the name of Col- 
bert's-river, in honour of their favourite minifter, and the whole country 
they called Loifinana, which may foon be exchanged for Philippiana till 
the Americans give it another and more defirable name. 


An Account of the Choktah Natron. 309 

The.Choktah being employed by the French, together with their other red 
confederates, againft the Englifh Chikkafah, they had no opportunity of 
inuring themfelves to the long-winded chace, among a great chain of fteep 
craggy mountains. They are amazingly artful however in deceiving an ene 
my , they will fatten the paws and trotters of panthers, bears, and buffalos, 
to their feet and hands, and wind about like the circlings of fuch animals, 
in the lands they ufually frequent. They alib will mimick the different notes 
of wild fowl, and thus often outwit the favages they have difputes with, 
Their enemies fay, that when at war, it is impofiible to difcover their 
tracks, unlefs they mould be fo lucky as to fee their perfons. They aft 
very timoroufly againft the enemy abroad, but behave as defperate veterans 
when attacked in their own country. 'Till they were fupplied by the En- 
glim traders with arms and ammunition, they had very little fkill ir> 
killing deerj but they improve very fail in that favourite art: no fa 
vages are equal to them in killing bears, panthers, wild cats, &c. thac 
relbrt in thick cane-fwamps , which fwamps are fometimes two or three 
miles over, and an hundred in length, without any break either fide of 
the firearm 

About Chriftmas, the he and me bears always feparate. The former ufually 
fnaps off a great many branches of trees, with which he makes the bottom of 
his winter's bed, and carefully raifes it to a proper height, with the green tops 
of large canes ; he choofes fuch folitary thickets as are impenetrable by the fun- 
beams. The (lie bear takes an old large hollow tree for her yeaning winter- 
houfe, and chufes to have the door above, to enable her to lecure her young 
ones from danger. When any thing difturbs them, they gallop up a tree,, 
champing their teeth, and briilling their hair, in a frightful manner: and 
when they are wounded, it is furprifing from what a height they will pitch- 
on the ground, with their weighty bodies, and how loon they get up, and 
run off. When they take up their winter-quarters, they continue the greater 
part of two months, in ahnoft an entire ftate of inactivity : during than- 
time, their tracks reach no farther than to the next water, of which they- 
feldom drink, as they frequently fuck their paws in their lonely recefs,, 
and impoverifii their bodies, to nourifh them. While they are em 
ployed in that furprifing talk of nature, they cannot contain themfelves- 
in.filence, but are fo well pleaied with their repaft, that they continue ling- 
ing bum urn urn: as their pipes are none of die weakeft, the Indians by this. 


2io An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

means often are led to them from a confiderable diftance, and then moot them 
down. But they are forced to cut a hole near the root of the tree, wherein 
the (he bear and her cubs are lodged, and drive them out by the force of 
fire and fuffocating fmoke i and as the tree is partly rotten, and the infide 
dry, it foon takes fire. In this cafe, they become very fierce, and would 
fight any kind of enemy , but, commonly, at the firft mot, they are either 
killed or mortally wounded. However, if the hunter chance to mifs his 
aim, he fpeedily makes off to a fappling, which the bear by over-clafping 
cannot climb: the crafty hunting dogs then aft their part, by biting be 
hind, and gnawing its hams, till it takes up a tree. I have been often af- 
fured both by Indians and others, who get their bread by hunrmg in the 
woods, that the fhe-bear always endeavours to keep apart from tin: mile 
during the helplefs ftate of her young ones ^ otherwife he would endeavour 
to kill them , and that they had frequently feen the fhe bear kill the male 
-on the fpot, after a defperate engagement for the defence of her young ones. 
Of the great numbers I have feen with their young cubs, I never law a 
he bear at fuch times, to aflbciate with them : fo that it feems one part of 
the Roman Satyrift's fine moral lefTon, inculcating peace and friendfhip, is 
not juft, $c<vi s inter fe ccnvenit Urfis. 

At the time Mobille (that grave-yard for Britons) was ceded to Great-Bri 
tain, the lower towns of the Choktah brought down all the Chikkafah 
fcalps they had taken, in their thievilh Way of warring, and had them new 
painted, and carrried them in proceflion on green boughs of pine, by way 
of bravado, to fhew their contempt of the Englifh. They would not 
fpeak a word to the Chikkafah traders, and they follicited the French for 
their confent to re-commence war againft us, and eftablilh them again by force 
of arms, in their weftern poflefHons ; but they told them, their king had 
.firmly concluded upon the ceflion, through his own benevolence of heart, to 
prevent the further effufion of innocent blood. By this artful addrefs, they 
fupported their credit with the favages, in the very point which ought to 
have ruined it. 

When the Choktah found themfelves dipped in war with the Muf- 
kohge i they follicited the Englifh for a fupply of ammunition, urging with 
much truth, that common fenle ought to direct us to aflift them, and deem 
the others our enemies as much as theirs. But Tumbikpe-garrifon was 
-evacuated through the unmanly fear of giving umbrage to the Muf- 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

kohge, at the very time it would have been of the utmoft fcrvicc to the 
general intereft of our colonies to have continued it. 

The commander concealed his timorous and precipitate retreat, even from 
me and another old trader, till the very night he confufedly fet off for Mo- 
bille by water, and left to us the trouble of apologizing to the favages for 
his mifconduft. But after he got to a place of fafety, he flourifhed away of 
his wifdom and prowefs. As a juft ftigma on thofe who abufe their public 
truft, I cannot help obferving, that in imitation of fome other rulers, he 
perfuaded the Indians not to pay us any of our numerous out-ftanding debts,, 
though contrary to what was fpecified in our trading licences. They 
have not courage enough to venture their own valuable lives to thofe red 
marts of trade , if they had, they would perfuade the Indians rather to- 
pay their debts honeftly, year by year, as we truft them in their want, 
and depend on their promife and fidelity. The gentlemen, who formerly 
traded with the Mufkohge, told me that the Georgia-governor, through a 
like generous' principle, forgave that nation once all the numerous debts 
they owed the traders. But as foon as the Indians underftood they would 
not be credited again, under any circumftances whatfoever, they contented to 
pay their debts, and declared the Governor to be a great mad-man, by pre 
tending to forgive debts contracted for valuable goods, which he never 
purchafed, nor intended to pay for. 

Though the French Louifianians were few, and far difperted, as well as 
furrounded by the favages, yet clofe application and abilities in their vari 
ous appointments, fufficiently made up their lack of numbers. When, and. 
where, their fecurity feemed to require it, they with a great deal ofart fomented 
divifions among their turbulent red neighbours, and endeavoured to keep the 
balance of power pretty even between them. Though they had only one 
garrifon in the country of the Mufkohge, and another in that of the Chok 
tah, yet the commanders of thofe two pofts, managed fo well,, that they 
intimidated thofe two potent nations, by raiting mifunderftandings between 
them, and threatening (when occafion required) to fet the one againft the 
other, with their red legions of the north, unlefs ample fatisfaclion was 
fpeedily given by the offrnding party, and folemn promifes of a ftri<5t 
eblervance of true friendmip for the time to come. How far our fuper- 
intendants, and commiffioners of Indian affairs, have imitated that wife 
7 : copy, 

3 12 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

copy, our traders can feelingly defcrlbe : and it will be a happinefs, if 
our three weftern colonies have not the like experience, in the fpace 
of a few years. We allure them, that either the plan, or the means, 
for producing fuch an effect, has been pretty well concerted by the authors 
of that dangerous and fatal peace between the Mufkohge and Choktah. 
Their own parry indeed will greatly applaud it, and fo will the much 
obliged Spaniards, efpecially if they foon enter into a war with Great Bri 
tain. It is to be wifhed, that thofe who preach peace and good-will to 
all the favage murderers of the Britifh Americans, would do the fame 
as to their American fellow -fubjects, and not, as fome have lately done, 
cry peace to the Indians, and feek to plunge the mercenary fwords of fol- 
diers into the breafts of thofe of our loyal colonifts, who are the mod 
powerful of us, becaufe they oppofe the meafures of an arbitrary miniftry, 
and will not be enflaved. 

In the year 1766, the Choktah received a confiderable blow from the 
Mufkohge. Their old diftinguiflied war-leader, before fpoken of, Minggo 
Humma Echeto, fet off againft the Mufkohge, witlv^jp hundred and 
fixty warriors, to cut off by furprife one of their barrier towns : as the 
waters were low, a couple of runners brought him a meflage from 
the nation, acquainting him there were two white men on their way to 
the Mufkohge, and therefore defired him to fend them back, left they 
fhould inform them of the expedition, and by that means, endanger 
the lives of the whole. But though he treated thefe traders kindly at 
his war-camp, and did not mew the lead diffidence of them reflecting their 
fecrecy , and fent this account back by the running mefTengers to his 
advifers, that the Englifh were his friends, and could not be reafona- 
bly fufpected of betraying them, if it were only on the fituation of 
their own trading bufinefs, which frequently called them to various 
places, yet thofe bafe-minded and perfidious men violate^ the ge 
nerous faith repofed in them, and betrayed the lives of their credulous 
friends. They fet off with long marches, and as foon as they arrived 
in the country of the Mufkohge, minutely informed them of the Chok- 
tah's hoftile intentions, and number, and the probable place of attack 
ing the afortfaid camp, to the beft advantage. The news was joy 
fully received, and, as they had reafon to believe they could fur- 
prjie the enemy, or take them at a difadvantage, in fome convenient 
7 place 

An Acwunt of the Choktah Nation. 

place near their own barriers, a number of chofen warriors well pre 
pared, fet off in order to fave their former credit, by revenging the re 
peated affronts the Choktah leader had given them in every engagement:. 
He, in the moft infulting manner, had often challenged their whole nation 
to meet him and his at any fixt time of a moon, and place, and fight 
it out, when the conquerors mould be matters of the conquered for the 
Mufkohge ufed to ridicule the Choktah, by faying, they were like wolf- 
cubs, who would not take the water, but the thick fwamp, as their only 
place of fecurity againft the enemy. It muft here be remembered, that the 
Indians in general, are guided by their dreams when they attend their holy 
ark to war, reckoning them (b many oracles, or divine intimations, de- 
figned for their good : by virtue of thofe fuppofed, facred dictates, they will 
fometimes return home, by one, two, or three at a time, without the leaft 
cenfure, and even with applaufe, for this their religious conduit. Thus, 
one hundred and twenty of thefe Choktah, after having intimidated them- 
felves apart from the reft, with vifionary notions, left the war-camp and 
returned home. Our gallant friend, Mlnggo Humma Echeto^ addrefied his 
townfmen on this, and perfuaded them to follow him againft the enemy, 
faying, it was the part of brave warriors to keep awake, and not dream like 
old women. He told them their national credit was at (lake for their 
warlike conduct under him ; and that honour prompted him to proceed 
againft the hateful enemy, even by himfelf, though he was certain his 
townfmen and warlike relations would not forfake him. Forty of them 
proceeded, and next day they were furrounded by an hundred and fixty 
of the Mufkohge, feveral of whom were on horfeback to prevent their 
efcape. When the Choktah faw their dangerous fituation, and that 
they had no alternative but a fudden, or lingering death, they fought as 
became defperate men, deprived of hope. While their arrows and ammu 
nition lafted, they killed and wounded a confiderable number of the oppo- 
fite party : but the enemy obferving their diftrefled fituation, drew up into 
a narrow circle, and rufhed upon the remaining and helplefs few, with their 
guns, darts, clubs, and tomohawks, and killed thirty-eight. They were 
not able to captivate but two, whom they deftined for the fiery torture : 
but at night, when the carop was afleep in too great fecurity, one of them 
fortunately made his efcape out of a pair of wooden flocks. They -had 
Mattered him with the hopes of being redeemed j but he told them he was 

S f 00t 

An Account of tbt Choktah Nation. 

too much of a warrior to confide in their falfc promifes. He got fafe home,. 
and related the whole affair. 

Formerly, by virtue of the prefiing engagement of a prime magiftrate 
of South-Carolina, I undertook to open a trade with the Choktah, and re 
concile their old-ftanding enmity with the Chikkafah. I was promifed 
to be indemnified in all neceflary charges attending that attempt. As 
the Choktah, by the perluafions of the French, had killed my partner 
in the trade, I was defirous of any favourable opportunity of retaliating : 
efpecially, as we were expofed to perpetual dangers and lofies, by the French 
rewards offered either for our fcalps or horfes-tails ; and as the French were 
ufually fhort of goods, while Great Britain was at war with them, we 
were liable to mod damages from them in time of peace. They ufed 
to keep an alphabetical lift of all the names of leading favages, in the va 
rious nations where they ingarrifoned themfelves ; and they duly paid them, 
every year, a certain quantity of goods befides, for all the damages they 
did to the Chikkafah, and our traders -, which tempted them conftantly 
to exert their abilities, to the good liking of their political employers. It 
happened, however, that one of the French of Tumbikpe-fort, being 
guided by Venus inftead of Apollo, was detected in violating the law of 
marriage k with tne favourite wife of the warlike chieftain of Quanfheto, 
Sbulajhummajhtabe, who by his fever-al tranfcendant qualities, had arrived to 
the higheft pitch of the red glory. He was well known in Georgia and 
South-Carolina, by the name of Red Shoes , as formerly noticed. As there 
lived in his town, a number of the Chokchoomah, the fenior tribe of the 
Chikkafah and Choktah, and who had a free intercourfe with each of 
their countries, we foon had an account of every material thing that 
patted there. I therefore refolved to improve fo favourable an opportu 
nity as feerned to prefent itfelf, and accordingly foon privately convened 
two of the leading men of the Chikkafah nation, to afiift me to execute the 
plan I had in view. One was the Archimagus, Paftabe, known in our 
colonies, by the name of " the Jockey," and the other, by that of Pake- 
mngc-Amalalota, who was the only Indian I ever knew to die of a 
confumption -, which he contracted by various engagements with the 
enemy when far off at war, contrary to their general rule of martial purinV 
cation. The violent exercife of running a great diftance under the violent 
rays of the fun, and over fandy, or hilly grounds, would not allow him to 


dii Account of the Choktah Nattoft* 3 15 

infwamp, and he fired his blood to fuch a degree, that a few years after 
this, when on a vifit to our Englifh fettlements, he died at Augufta with 
this ailment. It is needful to mention thofe well-known circumftances, 
as the following relation of facts, depends in a confiderable meafure on 

We three agreed to fend fome prefents to Red Shoes, with a formal fpeech, 
defiring him to accept them with a kind heart, and make hands with us as 
became brothers, according to the old beloved fpeech. Their own friendly 
meflages, and treaties of peace, are always accompanied with fo many forts 
of prefents, as their chiefs number. We in a few days packed up a 
fufficient quantity, to bury the tomohawk which the French had thruft 
into tHeir unwilling hands, and to dry up the tears of the injured, and fet 
their hearts at eafe, for the time to come, by joining with the Englifli and 
their old friendly Chikkafah, Inggona Sekanoopa toochenafe^ " in the triple 
knot of friendmip," in order to cut off the dangerous fnake's head, and ut 
terly deftroy the power of its forked tongue. As our real grievances 
were mutually the fame, and numerous, we gave liberally. Having every 
thing as well concerted for the embafly, as fuch occafions require, my 
two red friends fent a trufty mefTenger for a couple of the forefaid neu 
tral Indians, who had been a few days in the Chikkafah country, to 
accompany him late at night to my trading houfe. They readily obeyed ; 
and, as the good-natured men and their families, through friendmip to us, 
muft infallibly have been facrificed to French policy, if we failed of fuc- 
cefs, or they were difcovered by captives, or any other means, we ufed 
the greateft fecrefy, and placed a centinel to keep off all other perfons dur 
ing our private congrefs. After we had converfed with them a confiderable 
time, on the neceffity of the propofed attempt, and the certainty of fucceed- 
ing in it, we opened our two large budgets, and read over the ftrong em 
blematical contents, according to their idiom, till we gave them a tru 
impreflion of the whole. The next day we took care to fend them off 
well plealed : and as feveral material circumftances confpired to afllire us they 
\vould faithfully discharge the office of truft, which we repofed in them, 
we in a (hort time had the fatisfaftion to hear by other private runners of 
their countrymen, from our brave and generous patron, Red Shoes, that 
they were fo far from breaking the public faith, that they read to him every 
material head of our embafTy, and urged it with all their powers, 

Sf 2 That 

An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

That red chieftain introduced our friendly embafiy, with fuch fecrefy 
and addrefs to all the head-men he could confide in, that he foon perfuaded 
mod of them in all the neighbouring towns, to join heartily with him in 
his laudable plan. The fharpnefs of his own feelings for the bafe injury he 
had received from the French, and the well-adapted prefents we fent him 
and his wife and gallant aflbciates, contributed greatly to give a proper 
weight to our embafly. Such motives as thefe are too often the main- 
fprings that move the various wheels of government, even in the chriftian 
world. In about a month from the time we began to treat with Red- 
Shoes, he fent a confiderable body of his warriors, with prefents to me, as 
the reprefentative of the Englim traders, and to my Chikkafah friends, 
confiding of fwans-wings, white beads, pipes and tobacco -, which was a 
ftrong confirmation of our treaty of peace, and he earneftly requefted of 
me to inform them with, that candour, which mould always be obferved by. 
honeft friends, whether I could firmly engage that our traders would live, 
and deal among them, as we did with the Chikkafah , for a difappointment 
that way,, he faid, would prove fatal, mould we entangle them with the 
French,, in refentment of the many injuries they had long unprovokedly 
done us. I quieted their apprehenfions on that material point of jealoufy, 
to their entire fatisfaction, and my two Chikkafah friends foon expatiated 
uporr the fubjecl: to him, with a great deal of that life, wit and humour, fo, 
peculiar to the red Americans. We explained and confirmed anew, the 
whole contents of our former talk concerning the dangerous French fnake v 
a/Turing them, that if they did not foon exert themfelves againft it, as be 
came brave free-men, they would frill continue not only poor, and fhame- 
fully naked, below the (late of other human beings, but be dtrfpifed, and 
abufed, in proportion to their mean paflive conduct, their greateft and mod 
favourite war-chieftains not excepted, as they faw verified in their chief 
leader, Sbtola/hummajbtabe. But if they exerted themfelves, they would 
be as happy as our friendly, brave, and free Chikkafah, whom the French 
armies, and all their red confederates, could no way damage but as hidden 
fnakes, on account of their own valour, and the fteady friendfhip of the 
Englilh, who were always faithful to their friends even to death, as every 
river and creek fufficiently teftified, all the way. from the Englim fettlementj 
to the Chikkafah country. We mentioned how many were killed at fe- 
veral places, as they were going in a warlike manner to fupply their be- 
jpved friends, without any being ever captivated by the numerous enemy, 


An Account of the Choktah Nation* 377 

though often attacked at a difadvantage which ought to afiure them, 
that whenever the Englifh (baked hands with people, their hearts were 
always honeft. We requeued them therefore to think, and act, as our 
brotherly Chikkafah, who by ftrongly holding the chain of friendfhip be 
tween them and the Englifh, were able in their open fields, to deftroy the 
French armies, and' in the woods bravely to fight, and baffle all the 
efforts of their defpicable mercenary enemies, though their numbers of 
fighting men confided of few more than one hundred to what the Choktah 
contained in old hundreds, or thoufands. The French, we added, were 
liberal indeed \ but to whom, or for what ? They gave prefents to the 
head-men-, and the moft eloquent fpeakers of their country, to inflave the 
reft, but would not fupply them with arms and ammunition, without the 
price of blood againft our traders and the friendly Chikkafah ; that they 
themfelves were witnefTes, a whole town of fprightly promifmg young men 
had not now more than five or fix guns ; but they would learn to 
kill as many deer as the diftinguimed Chikkafah hunters, if they firmly 
Ihook hands with the Englifh. We convinced them, that the true emblem 
of the Englifh was a dreft white deer-fkin, but that the French dealr 
with them only in long fcalping knives ; that we had a tender feeling, 
when we heard the mourning voice of the tender-hearted widow, and only 
fupplied our friends in their own defence, or in revenge of crying blood ; 
but that the French delighted in blood; and were always plotting how to 
deftroy them, and take away their lands, by fetting them at war againft 
thofe who loved them, and would fecure their liberties, without any 
other view than as became brothers, who fairly exchanged their goods. We- 
defired them to view the Chikkafah ftriplings, how readily their kindly 
hearts led them to liften to the friendly fpeech of their Englim trading 
fpeaker, becaufe they knew we loved them, and enabled them to appear 
in the genteel drefs of red people. 

At the whoop, they foon appeared, and cheerfully complied with our 
various requefts, to the great fatisfaction of our new Choktah friends. The 
Chikkafah head-men told them with pleafure, that they were glad their 
own honeft eyes had feen the pure effects of love to their Englifh trader \ and 
that their old people, time out of mind, had taught them fo. Then they 
humouroufly enlarged on the unfriendly conduct of the French in a com- 
garative manner, and perfuaded them to keep their eyes open, and re 

3 1 S An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

member well what they had feen and heard, and to tell it to all their 

We adjufted every thing in the moft friendly manner, to the intire fatif- 
faction of the Choktah. I fupplied each of them with arms, ammunition, 
and prefents in plenty gave them a French fcalping knife which had 
been ufed againft us, and even vermilion, to be ufed in the flourifhing way, 
with the dangerous French fnakes, when they killed and fcalped them. 
They returned home extremely well pleafed, echoed every thing they had 
feen and heard ; and declared that the Chikkafah, in their daily drefs, far ex 
ceeded the beft appearance their country-men could make in the moft fhowy 
manner, except thofe whom the French paid to make their lying mouths 
ftrong. They foon went to work they killed the ftrolling French pedlars, 
turned out againft the MifTifippi Indians and Mobillians, and the flame 
fpeedily raged very high. One of the Choktah women, ran privately to 
inform a French pedlar of the great danger he was in, and urged him 
immediately to make his efcape. He foon faddled a fine ftrong fprightly 
horfe he chanced to have at hand: juft as he mounted, the dreadful death 
whoo whoop was founded in purfuit of him, with the fwift-footed red 
Afahel, Shocla/humma/htafe, leading the chace. Though, from that place, 
the land-path was moftly level to Tumpikbe-garrifon (about half a day's 
march) and though the Chikkafah and Choktah horfes are Spanim barbs, 
and long winded, like wolves ; yet Red-Shoes, far ahead of the reft, ran 
him down in about the fpace of fifteen miles, and had fcalped the unfortu 
nate rider fome time before the reft appeared. 

It is furprifing to fee the long continued fpeed of the Indians in general 
though fome of us have often ran the fwifteft of them out of fight, when 
on the chafe in a collective body, for about the diftance of twelve miles ; 
yet, afterward, without any feeming toil, they would ftretch on, leave us 
out of fight, and out-wind any horfe. When this retaliating fcheme was plan 
ned and executing, I was -the only Britifh fubjed in the Chikkafah country \ 
and as I had many goods on hand, I ftaid in the nation, while we fent down 
our horfes to the firft Englifh fettlemsnts, which was full eight hundred 
milt-s diftant, before the two Floridas were ceded to us. Seventeen were 
the broken days, according to the Indian phrafe, when the Choktah en 
gaged to return with the French fcalps, as a full confirmation of their hav- 
i ing 


An Account of the Choktah Nation* 319 

frig declared war againft them, and of their ardent defire of always fhaking 
hands with the Englifh. The power of the French red mercenaries was 
however fo very great, that Red Shoes could not with fafety comply witb 
his deputy's promife to me, to fend the French fnake's head, in the time ap 
pointed by our fticks hieroglyphically painted,* and notched- in due form. 
The fall time drawing on, obliged me to fet off for the Koofah-town, 
which is the moft weftern of the Mufkohge nation, about three hundred 
miles diftant. I was accompanied by my two cheerful and gallant Chik 
kafah friends, already mentioned, with forty of their chofen warriors, 
brave as ever trod the ground, and faithful under the greateft dangers 
even to the death. On our way down, efcorting the returning cargo, four 
Chikkafah, who were paffing home through the woods, having difco- 
vered us, and obferving in the evening a large camp of 80 French 
Choktah in purfuit of us ; they returned on our tracks at full fpeed, to 
put us on our guard : but though we were fo few, and had many women 
and children to protect-, befides other incumbrances, yet as the enemy 
knew by our method of camping, and marching, we had difcovered them,, 
they durft not attack us. 

Another time there was a hunting camp of only feventeen Chikkafah, 
with their wives and children, who were attacked by above fixty Chok 
tah , but they fought them a long time, and fo defperately, that they killed 
and wounded feveral,* and drove them Ihamefully off, without any lofs. 
It is ufual for the women to fing the enlivening war fong in the time of an 
attack j and it inflames the men's fpirits fo highly, that they become as 
fierce as lions. I never knew an inftance of the Indians running off, though 
from a numerous enemy, and leaving their women and children to their 
barbarous hands. 

Soon after we arrived at the upper weftern town of the Mufkohge, 
which was called Ooe-Afab, and fettled by the Chikkafah and Nahchee, 
a great company of Red Shoes warriors came up with me, with the 
French fcalps, and other trophies of war : but becaufe a body of our 
Mufkohge mercenary traders found their account in dealing with the 
French at the Alebahma-fort, they to the great rifk of their own. 
country's welfare, lodged fo many caveats in my way by the mediation 


320 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

of the Mufkohge, that I found it neceflary to confent that the fcalps 
fhould be fent with the other trophies, in a Mufkohge white deer-fkin, 
to the French fort at the diftance of feventy miles, to be buried deep 
in the ground, inftead of fending them by the Choktah runners, to 
his excellency the governor of South-Carolina, who had engaged me 
to drive to open a trade with thofe Indians. Thefe opulent and mer 
cenary white favages being now dead, I fhall not difgrace the page with 
their worthlefs names. Soon after we had reached the Chikkafah country, 
Red Shoes came to pay us a friendly vifit, accompanied with a great 
many head-men and warriors, both to be relieved in their poverty, and to con 
cert the beft meafures of ftill annoying the common enemy. We behaved 
kindly and free to them, to their entire fatisfaftion, and fent confiderablc 
prefents to many head-men who (laid at home, in confirmation of our 
ftrong friendfhip , acquainting them of our various plans of operation 
againft 'the enemy, IR defence of their lives, freedom, and liberty of trade, 
in which 'the Englim and Chikkafah would faithfully fupport them. Every 
thing was delivered to them according to our intention, and as kindly re 
ceived. And as all the Indians are fond of well-timed novelty, efpeci- 
ally when they expect to be gainers by it, the name of the friendly and 
generous Englim was now echoed, from town to town, except in thofe 
few which had large penfions from the French. 

In the beginning of the following fpring, which was if 47, above fifty- 
warriors from feveral towns of the Mufkohge, came to the Chikkafah coun 
try, on their way to war againft the Aquahpah Indians, on the weftern fide 
of the Miffifippi, one hundred and fifty miles above the Nahchee old fields. 
By our good treatment of them, and well-timed application, they joined 
a body of Chikkafah warriors under Payah Matahah^ and made a fleet of 
large cyprefs-bark-canoes, in which they embarked under the direction of 
three red admirals, in long pettiaugers that had been taken from the French, 
as they were pafling from New Orleans up to the Illinois. They pro 
ceeded down the Miflifippi to the French fettlements, and attacked and 
burned a large village at break of day, though under the command of a 
ftockade-fort ; from which the Chikkaiah leader was wounded with a 
grape-mot in his fide. On this, as they defpaired or" his life, according 
co their univerfal method in fuch a cafe, they killed moft of their unfortu 
nate raptives on the weftern bank of the Miflifippi , and enraged with 
J fury, 

An Account of the Choktah Nation. 321 

fury, they overfpread the French fettlements, to a great diftance, like a 
dreadful whirlwind, deftroying every thing before them, to the aftonimment 
and terror even of thofe who were far remote from the fkirts of the dire 
ful ftorm. The French Louifianians were now in a defponding ftate, as 
we had beaten them in their own favourite political element, in which they 
had too often been fuccefsful even at the Britifh court, after our troops 
and navies had fcoured them out of the field and the ocean. They had 
no reafon here to expect any favour of us, as we were only retaliating the 
long train of innocent blood of our fellow-fubjects they had wantonly caufed 
to be fhed by their red mercenaries, and their fears now became as great as 
their danger but they were needlefs ; for though the Alebahma French, 
and many towns of the Mufkohge, were in a violent ferment, when the fore- 
faid warriors returned home, yet by the treacherous mediation of the above- 
mentioned traders and their bafe aflbciates, the breach was made up. Had 
they been bleft with the lead fpark of that love for the good of their coun 
try, which the favages and French are, they could have then perfuaded 
the Indians, to have driven the French from the dangerous Alebahma ; 
and an alliance with the Chikkafah and Choktah would have effectually 
deftroyed the dangerous line of circumvallation they afterwards drew 
around our valuable colonies. And as the Cheerake, by their fituation, 
might eafily have been induced to join in the formidable treaty, they with 
encouragement, would have proved far fuperior to all the northern red 
legions the French were connected with. 

At that time I fent to the Governor of South Carolina, a .large packet, 
relating the true fituation of our Indian affairs, directed on his majefty's 
fervice : but though it contained many things of importance, (which the 
French, under fuch circumftances, would have faithfully improved) and 
required immediate difpatch; our Mufkohge traders, to whofe care I 
had lent it by fome Chikkafah runners, were fo daringly bafe as to open it, 
and deftroy what their felf-interefted views feemed to require, and delayed 
the conveyance of the reft a confiderable time, to prevent others from reap 
ing the benefit of the trade before them. When I went down, I com 
plained of their mifconduct, and the Governor having promifed me a 
public feal, threatened them loudly j but fome after circumftances in trade 
made him to think it not worth while to put his threats in execution. 
When the French were deftitute of goods at Tumbikpe-garrifon, while 

T t they 

322 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

they were at war with the Errglifh, their policy allowed them to furTes 
feveral of our traders to deal with the Choktah, without any interruption,. 
in order to keep them quiet , but as foon as they had a proper fupply, they 
excited their treacherous friends to plunder, and kill our people. They, 
who had the fortune to get fafe away, made great returns , which induced 
fome to entertain too high notions of their profits, and fo Grangers hazarded 
too much at once. While the French had pofleffion of Tumbikpe,, 
we, who knew them, ufed to fend there only fmall cargoes from the 
Chikkafah country, to- avoid tempting them too far : but one of our great 
men was reported to have perfuaded a couple of gentlemen to join in com 
pany with his brother, (well known by the name of the Sphynx com 
pany) in the Choktah trade, and to have fupplied them very largely., 
They loaded, and fent off 360 valuable horfes, which with all other 
concomitant charges, in going to fuch a far-diftant country, fwelled 
it to a high amount. The traders, who were employed to vend the 
valuable cargo, gave large prefents to fix of the Mufkohge leaders, 
known to be mod attached to the Britifh intereft, to efcort them, with a 
body of the Choktah, into the country. They palled by Alebarimay 
in the ufual parade of the Indian-traders, to the terror of the people 
in the fort. They proceeded as far- as a, powerful body of our Choktali 
friends had appointed to meet them, but confiderably overftaid the fixed 
time there, in want of provifions, as their common fafety would not allow. 
them to go a hunting : by the forcible perfuafion of the Mufkohge head* 
men, they unluckily returned about one hundred and forty miles back on 
a north-eaft-courfe. But a few days after, a party of Choktah friends 
came to their late camp, in order to encourage them to come on without; 
the leaft dread, as a numerous party were watching an opportunity to 
attack the French, and their own flavifh countrymen ; and that they would 
furely engage them very fuccefsfully, while the traders were fordiog Mo- 
bille-river, eight miles above Tumbikpe-fort,. under a powerful efcortment 
of their faithful friends. So wifely had they laid their plan, though it was 
difconcerted by the cautious conduct of the Mufkohge head-men : for they, 
are all fo wary and jealous, that when they fend any of their people on a 
diftant errand, they fix the exact time they are to return home ; and if they, 
exceed but one day, they on, the fecond fend ou.i a party on difcovery *; 


* I fliall here mention an inflance of that kind : at this time, a hunting camp of the Chik 
kafah went out to the extent of their winter-limits between the Choktah and Mufkohge 

countries - 

An Account of the Choktah Nation. 72-5 , 

6 V 

Our Choktah traders having been thus induced to return to the Muf- 
kohge country, proceeded foon afterwards feverrty miles on almoft a nor 
thern courfe, and from thence to the Chikkafah about weft by north 300 
miles of very mountainous land, till within forty miles of that extenfivc 
and fertile country afterward, on a fouthern direction to the Choktah, 160 
miles. This was a very oblique courfe, fomewhat refembling the letter 
G reverted, its tail from Charles-town, confiding of 720 miles, and 
the head of 530, in all 1250 miles a great diftance to travel through 
woods, with loaded horfes, where they Ihifted as they could, when 
the day's march was over; and through the varying feafons of the 
year. Thefe traders were charged with great negleft, in being fo long 

countries : but being defirous of enlarging their hunt, they fent off a fprightly young warrior 
to dilcover certain lands they were unacquainted with, which they pointed to by the courfe 
of the fun, lying at the diftance of about thirty miles. Near that place, he came up with a 
camp of Choktah, who feemed to treat him kindly, giving him venifon and parched 
corn to eat : but while he was eating what fome of the women had laid before him, 
one of the Choktah creeped behind him, and funk his tdimohawk into his head. His 
aflbciates helped him to carry away the vidim, and they hid it in a hollow tree, at 
a confiderable diftance from their camp ; after which they fpeedily removed. When 
the time for his return was elapfed, the Chikkafah, next day, made a place of fecurity 
for their women and children, under the protection of a few warriors ; and the morning 
following, painted themfelves red and black, and went in queft of their kinfman. 
Though they were ftrangers to the place, any farther than by their indications to him 
before he fet off, yet fo fwift and fkilful woods-men were they, that at twelve o'clock 
that day, they came to the Choktah camping place, where, after a narrow fearch, they 
difcovered the trace of blood on a fallen tree, and a few drops of frefh blood on the 
leaves of trees, in the courfe they had dragged the corpfe ; thefe directed them to the wooden 
urn, wherein the remains of their kinfman were inclofed. They faid, as they were men and 
warriors, it belonged to the female relations to weep for the dead, and to them to revenge it. 
They foon concluded to carry off the corpfe, to the oppofite fide of a neighbouring- Avamp, 
and then to purfue. Having depofited the body out of the reach of beafts of prey, they fet 
off in purfuit of the Choktah : they came up with them before day-light, furrounded their 
camp, attacked them, killed one, and wounded feveral, whooping aloud, " that they were 
Chikkafah, who never firft loofed the friend-knot between them and others, nor failed in re 
venging blood ; but ye are roguifh Choktah ; you know you are likewife cowards ; and that 
you are worfe than wolves, for they kill, only that they may eat, but you give your 
iriends fomething to ear, that you may kill them with fafety." They told them, as they had 
left their gallant relation unfcalped in a tree, they left their cowardly one in like manner, 
along-fide of another tree. They put up the death whoo whoop, returned, fcaffolded their 
dead kinfman, and joined their own camp without any interruption. The reader will be 
able to form a proper judgment of the temper and abilities of the Indian favage?, from thefe 

T t 2 before 

324 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

before they reached the Choktah country; this was to invalidate the 
pretenfions of two other gentlemen, towards obtaining bills of exchange on 
the government, according to the ftrong promiies they had, for any 
lofles they might fuftain in their Choktah cargo of goods, &rc. Not- 
withftanding the former were utter ftrangers to the Chikkafah and Choktah, 
and in juftice could only expect the common privilege of Britifti 
fubjects, yet his Excellency beftowed on them a large piece of written 
fheep-fkin, bearing the impreffion of the threatening lion and unicorn, to 
frighten every other trader from dealing with the Choktah, at their peril. 
The Chikkafah traders were much terrified at the unnfual fight of the en* 
livened pictures of fuch voracious animals. My (ituation caufed me then 
to be filent, on that ftrange point ; but when the chief of them, who carried 
thofe bees-wax-pictures, came to my trading houfe, chiefly to inlarge on 
the dreadful power of thofe fierce creatures, I told him, as they anfwered 
the defign, in making fo many trembling believers, among the Indians, 
I did not imagine him fo weak as to attempt to impofe his fcare-crows 
upon me-, but that, as his Excellency had dipped me too deep in a 
dangerous and very expenfive affair, and had done me the honour to 
fend for me to Charles-town on his majefty's fervice, at the very time 
I could have fecured them in the efteem of the fickle Choktah, I mould 
not by any means oppofe their aim of grafping the whole Choktah trade, 
be their plan ever fo unwife and unfair. The letter the gentleman deli 
vered to me was dated April 22, Anno 1747, in which his excellency ac- 
knowleged, in very obliging terms, that I had been very ferviceable to the 
government, by my management among the Choktah^ and might be af- 
fured of his countenance and friendfhip. As the reft of it concerned my- 
felf in other matters, and contained fome things of the meafures of go 
vernment relating to the point in view, it may be right not to publifli it : 
but it is among the public records in Charles-town, and may be feen in 
the fecretary's office. The traders, after this interview, fee off for the 
Choktah ; and I in a few days to South Carolina. 

Soon after I arrived at Charles- town, I could not but highly refent the 
governor's ungenerous treatment of, and injuflice to me, in fending for me 
to the neglect of my trade, only to carry on his unparalleled favourite 
fcheme, and I foon fet off for the Chikkafah, without taking the leaft for 
mal leave of his Excellency. By fome means, he foon knew of my depar- 

3 ture, 

An Account of the Choktah Nation. 325 

ture, and perfuaded G. G n, Efq; (one of the two friends in South- 
Carolina, who only could influence me againft my own liking) to follow 
till he overtook me, and urge me to return, and accompany me to his 
Excellency's houfe. At his earned follicitations, the gentleman complied, 
came up with me, and prevailed on me to go back according to requeft. 
I had plenty of courtly excufes for my complaints and grievances, and in 
the hearing of my friend was earneftly prefied to forget and forgive all 
that was pad; with folemn promifes of full redrefs, according to his for 
mer engagement of drawing bills of exchange in my favour, on the go 
vernment, if South-Carolina had not honour enough to repay me what I 
had expended in opening a trade with the numerous Chokcah befides 
gratuities for hardfhips, hazards, &c. 

I wifh I could here alfo celebrate his fincerhy and faithfulnefs on this occa- 
fion As I could not wellfufpect a breach of public faith, after it had been 
pledged in fo folemn a manner, he had not much difficulty in detaining me 
on fundry pretexts, till the expected great Choktah crop of deer-fkins and 
beaver muft have been gathered, before I could pofiibly return to the 
Chikkafah country, and from thence proceed to rival the Sphynx-com- 
pany. Under thofe circumftances, I was detained fo late in November, 
that the fnow fell upon me at Edifto, the firft day, in company with 

Captain W d, an old trader of the Okwhufke, who was going to 

Savanah. In the feverity of winter, froft, fnow, hail, and heavy rains 
fucceed each other, in thefe climes, fo that I partly rode, and partly fwam 
to the Chikkafah country j for not expecting to ftay long below, I took no- 
leathern canoe. Many of the broad deep creeks, that were almoft dry 
when I went down, had now far overflowed their banks, ran at a rapid 
rate, and were unpayable to any but delperate people : when I got within 
forty miles of the Chikkafah, the rivers and fwamps were dreadful, 
by rafts of timber driving down the former, and the great fallen trees 
floating in the latter, for near a mile in length. Being forced to wade deep 
through cane-fwamps or woody thickets, it proved very troublefome to 
keep my fire arms dry, on which, as- a fecond means, my life Depended ; 
for, by the high rewards of the French, Come enemies were always rambling 
about in fearch of us. On theeaflern fide of one of the rivers, in taking a 
fweep early in a wet morning, in queft of my horfes, I difcovered fmoke 
on a fmall piece of rifing ground in a fwamp, pretty near, the edge; I 


326 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

moved nearer from tree to tree, till I difcovered them to be Choktah creep 
ing over the fire. I withdrew without being difcovered, or the lead ap- 
prehcnfion of danger, as at the word, I could have immediately infwamped, 
fecured a retreat with my trufty fire-arms, and taken through the river 
and the broad fwamp, which then refembled a mixt ocean of wood and 
water. I foon obferved the tracks of my horfes, found them, and fct off. 
At the diftance of an hundred yards from the river, there was a large and 
deep lagoon, in the form of a femi-circle. As foon as I fvvam this^ and got 
on the bank, I drank a good draught of rum : in the middle of the river, I 
was forced to throw away one of my belt-piftols, and a long French fcalp- 
ing knife I had found, where the Choktah killed two of our traders. 
When I got on the oppofite more, I renewed my draught, put my fire 
arms in order, and fet up the war-whoop. I had often the like fcenes, 
till I got to the Chikkafah country, which was alfo all afloat. The peo 
ple had been faying, a little before I got home, that mould I chance to 
be on the path, it would be near fifty days before I could pafs the neigh 
bouring deep fwamps j for, on account of the levelneis of the land, the 
waters contiguous to the Chikkafah, are ufually in winter fo long in- 
emptying, before the fwamps become paffable. As I had the misfor 
tune to lofe my tomohawk, and wet all the punk in my mot-pouch by 
fwimming the waters, I could not ftrike fire for the fpace of three days, and 
it rained extremely hard, during that time. By being thoroughly wet fo 
long, in the cold month of December, and nipped with the froft, feven 
months elapfed before I had the proper ufe of the fingers of my right- 
hand. On that long and dangerous war-path, I was expofed to many 
dangers, and yet fo extricated myfelf, that it would appear like Quixotifm 
to enumerate them. 

I often repented of trufting to the governor's promifes, and fo have 
many others. The Cheerake, AttabKuttab Kullah> whofe name is the fuperla- 
tive of a fkilful cutter of wood, called by us, " The Little Carpenter," had 
equal honour with me of receiving from his Excellency a conliderable num 
ber of letters, which he faid were not agreeable to the old beloved fpecch. 
He kept them regularly piled in a bundle, according to the time he re 
ceived them, and often fhewed them to the traders, in order to cxpofe 
their fine promifing contents. The firfl, he ufed to fay, contained a little 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 327 

truth, and he excufed the failure of the greater part of it, as he imagined 
touch bufinefs might have perplexed him, fo as to occafion him to forget 
complying with his ftrong promife. " But count, faid he, the lying black 
marks of this one:" and he defcanted minutely on every circumftance of it. 
His patience being exhaufted, he added, " they were an heap of black 
broad papers, and ought to be burnt in the old years fire." 

Near the Mufkohge country, on my way to the Chikkafah, I met my 
old friends, Pa Tah-Matahah, the Chikkafah head war-chieftain, and Ming- 
go-PuJhkooJh) the great Red-Shoes' brother, journeying to Charles-town, 
with one of the beaus of the Sphynx-company, to relate the lofs of the 
moft part of that great cargo they fo unwifely carried at once, and to fo- 
licit for a further fupply. Thofc traders, one excepted, were very indif- 
creet, proud and ftubborn. They itrove who could out-drefs, or moft 
vilify the other even before the Indians, who were furprifed, as they 
never heard the French to degrade one another. The haughty plan they 
laid, againft the repeated perfuafions of the other, was the caufe of all their 
lofies they firft loft the affection of the free, and equally proud 'Choktah ; 
for they fixed as an invariable, rule, to keep them at a proper diftance, as 
they termed it , whereas I, according to the frequent, fharp, upbraiding 
language of the familiar favages to them, fat and fmoked with the head-men 
on bear-fkins, fet the young people to their various diverfions, and then 
viewed them with pleafure. 

Notwithftanding the bad treatment I had received ; as I' was apprehenfive 
of the difficulties they would neceflarily be expofed to, on account of 
their ignorance and haughtinefs, I wrote to them, by a few Chikkafah'. 
warriors, truly informing them of the temper of the Indians, and the- 
difficulties they would probably be expofed to, from the policy of the 
French at Tumbikpe ; and that though I had purpofed to fet off for 
South-Carolina, I would poftpone going fo foon, if they were of my opi 
nion, that Mr. J. C 1 (who joined with me in the letter) and I could be 
of any fervice to their mercantile affairs. They received our well-in 
tended epiftle, and were fo polite as to order their black interpretrefs to 
bid our red couriers tell us, they thanked us for our friendly offer, but- 
did not ftand in need of our afllftance. They walked according to the weak 
crooked rule they, had received below, and fared accordingly : for the dif-- 


328 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

obliged favage& took moft part of the tempting cargo. At this time, the 
French had only two towns and a half in their intereft, and they were fo wa 
vering, that they could not rely on their friendmip, much lefs on their abi 
lity of refitting the combined power of the reft of the nation -, and they 
were on the very point of removing that ufeful and commanding garrifon 
Tumbikpe, and fettling one on another eaftern-branch of the river, 
called Potagahatche, in order to decoy many of the Choktah to fettle 
there by degrees, and intercept the Englifh traders, on their way up from 
our fettlements. This was as wife a plan as could poffibly have been con 
certed, under the difficult circumftances they laboured at that time. 
But the unjuft and unwife meafures of the governor of South-Caro 
lina, in fending his favourite traders with a fcare-crow of bees-wax, to keep 
off others who were more intelligent, gave the defponding French a fa 
vourable opportunity to exert their powers, and regain the loft affections 
of a confiderable number of our red allies ; for none of our traders had now 
any goods in the Choktah country, nor were likely foon to carry any there. 

Mr. C 1, the trader I juft mentioned, was of a long (landing among 

the Chikkafah, and indefatigable in ferving his country, without regard 
ing thofe dangers that would chill the blood of a great many others ; 
and he was perfect mafter of the Indian language. About a year after this 
period, he went to Red Shoes' town, and in a fummer's night, when he 
was chatting with our great Englifh friend along-fide of his Chikkafah 
wife, a party of the corrupt favages, that had been fent by the French, 
fhot him through the moulder, and her dead on the fpot. Red Shoes af 
terwards fared the fame fate, by one of his own country-men, for the fake 
of a French reward, while he was efcorting the forefaid gallant trader, and 
others, from the Chikkafah to his own country. He had the misfortune 
to be taken very fick on the path, and to lye apart from the camp, accord 
ing to their ufual cuftom : a Judas, tempted by the high reward of the 
French for killing him, officioufly pretended to take great care of him. 
While Red Shoes kept his face toward him, the barbarian had filch 
feelings of awe and pity, that he had not power to perpetrate his 
wicked defign ; but when he turned his back, then he gave the fatal 
fhot. In a moment the wretch ran off, and though the whole camp 
were out in an inftant, to a confiderable breadth, he evaded their 
purfuit, by darting himfelf like a fnake, into a deep crevice of the 


An Account of tie Choktah Nation. 329 

earth. The old trader, who was fhot through the fhoulder, going two 
years after the death of this our brave red friend, unfortunately a quarter of 
a mile into the woods, from the fpacious clearing of the Chikkafah coun 
try, while all the men were on their winter hunt, and having only a to- 
mohawk in his hand, the cowardly French Indians attacked him by furprife, 
fhot him dead, and carried his fcalp to Tumbikpe-fort : another white 
man unarmed, but out of the circle they had fuddenly formed, ran for 
his fire-arms ; but he and the traders came too late to overtake the blood 
hounds. In this manner, fell thofe two valuable brave men, by hands that 
would have trembled to attack them on an equality. 

The French having drawn off fome towns from the national confederacy^ 
and corrupted them, they began to mew thcmfelves in their proper colours, 
and publicly offered rewards for our fcalps. Of this I was foon informed 
by two Choktah runners, and in a few days time, I fent them back well 
pleafed. I defired them to inform their head-men, that about the time 
thofe days I had marked down to them, were elapfed, I would be in their 
towns with a cargo, and difpofe of it in the way of the French, as they 
were fo earned in flealing the Englilh people. I charged them with a long 
relation of every thing I thought might be conducive to the main point 
in view ; which was, the continuance of a fair open trade with a free 
people, who by treaty were become allies of Great Britain ; not fubjefts* 
as our public records often wrongly term them but people of one fire. 
As only merit in war-exploits, and flowing language and oratory, gives any 
of them the lead preference above the retl, they can form no other idea 
of kings and fubjccts than that of tyrants domineering over bafe flaves ; 
of courfe, their various dialects have no names for fuch. 

I left the Chikkafah, and arrived in the Choktah country before the ex 
piration of the broken days, or time we had appointed, with a confiderable 
cargo. By the intended monopoly of our great beloved man, in frighten 
ing the Chikkafah traders, there were no Englifh goods in the nation, when 
I went : and the neceflity of the times requiring a liberal diftribution, 
according to my former meffage, that alone muft have fallen heavy upon 
me under the public faith, without any additional expences. A day 
before I got there, Minggo Pujhkoojh^ the half-brother of Red Shoes, was 
returned home from Charles-town, and by him I had the honour of re- 

U u ceiving 

330 Jfn Account of the Choktah Nation. 

ceiving a friendly and polite letter from the governor. His main aim, a 
this fickened time of Indian trade, was to recover the value of the goods 
that had been loft in the Choktah country. He recommended one of the 
traders of the Sphynx-company to my patronage, prefimg me to affift him 
as far as I poflibly could, and likewife to endeavour to dorm Tumbikpe-fort; 
promifing at the fame time, to become anfwerable to me for all my rea^ 
fonable charges in that affair. I complied with every tittle of the gentle 
man's requeft, as far as I could, without charging him for it in the 
lead. As I had then, the greateft part of my cargo on hand, I lent the 
other what he flood in need of, that he might regain what his former 
pride and folly had occafioned to be loft. At that time, powder and ball 
were fo very fcarce, that I could have fold to the Choktah, as much as 
would have produced fifteen hundred buck-fkins, yet the exigency was fo 
preffing, I gave them the chief part of my ammunition, though as fpar- 
ingly as I could for the French by our purfuit of wrong meafures, (al 
ready mentioned) and their own policy, had dipped them into a civil war. 
As I had then no call to facrifice my private intereft for the emolument 
of the public, without indemnity, fo I was not willing to fufpeft ano 
ther breach of public faith. Red Shoes' brother came up freighted with 
plenty of courtly promifes, and for his own fecurity he was not backward 
in relating them to his brethren ; otherwife, they would have killed both 
him and me ; which would have reconciled them to the French, who a 
few days before, had propofed our maffacre by a long formal mefiage to 
them, as they afterwards informed me. I plainly faw their minds were 
unfixed, for their civil war proved very fharp. Minggo Pujhkoojh and ieve- 
ral head-men conducted me from town to townj ta the crowd of the feven 
lower towns, which lie next to New Orleans: but they took proper care 
to make our ftages fhort enough, that I might have the honour to con- 
verfe with all their beloved men and chief warriors^ and have the favour 
to give them plenty of prefents, in return for fo great an obligation. 
The Indian head-men deem it a trifle to go hundreds of miles, on fuch a. 
gladfome errand j and very few of them are (low in honouring the traders 
with a vifit, and a long, rapid, poetic fpeech. They will come feveral. 
miles to difpofe of a deer-fkin. 

When I arrived at the thick fettlement of thefe lower towns, I began to 
imagine they had opened a communication with their fubterranean brethren 
cf Nanne Yah ; I was honoured with the company of a greater number 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 331 

of red chiefs of war, and old beloved men, than probably ever appeared 
in imperial Rome. They in a very friendly manner, tied plenty of 
bead-garters round my neck, arms, and legs, and decorated me, a la mods 
America,. I did myfelf the honour to fit them out with filver arm-plates, 
gorgets, wrift-plates, ear-bobs, &c. &c. which they kindly received, and 
proiefted they would never part with them, for the fake of the giver. How 
ever, by all my perfuafions, they would not undertake to dorm Tumbikpe- 
fort, though I offered to accompany them, and put them in a fure way 
of carrying it. They told me I was mad, for the roaring of the cannon 
was as dreadful as the fharpeft thunder, and that the French with one 
of their great balls would tear me in pieces, as foon as I appeared in 

While they declined a French war, their ov/n civil war became bitter 
beyond expreffion. They frequently engaged, one party againft the other, 
in the open fields : when our friends had fired away all their ammunition, 
they took to their hiccory-bows and barbed arrows, and rufhed on the 
oppofite party, with their bare tomohawks, like the moft defperate ve 
terans, regardlefs of life. They did not feern to regard dying fo much, 
as the genteel appearance they made when they took the open field, on 
purpofe to kill or be killed. They ufed to tell the Englifh traders they 
were going on fuch a day to fight, or die for them, and earneftly impor 
tuned them for ^a Stroud blanket, or white mirt a-piece, that they might 
make a genteel appearance in Englifh cloth, when they died. It was not 
fafe to refufe them, their minds were fo diftrafted by the defperate fitua- 
tion of their affairs ; for as they were very fcarce of ammunition, the French 
wifely headed their friend-party, with fmall cannon, battered down the 
others flockaded-forts, and in the end reduced them to the neceflity of a 
coalition. Thefe evils were occafioned merely by the avarice and madnefs of 
thofe I have ftiled the Sphynx-Company. 

At this dangerous time, the fmall-pox alfo was by fome Unknown means 
conveyed into the Choktah country, from below : and it depopulated them 
as much as the civil war had done. The Choktah who efcorted me into 
the Chikkafah nation, were infected with that malady in the woods, and 
ibon fpread it among others ; thefe, a little time after, among the Mufkohge, 
who were in company with me, on our way to Charles-town. I unluckily had 

Uu 2 the 

332 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

the honour to receive from the Governor, another polite letter, dated Sep 
tember the 1 7th, anno 1749, citing me, under the great feal of the pro 
vince, to come down with a party of Indians, as I had given his excel 
lency notice of their defire of paying a friendly vifit to South Carolina. 
And having purchafed and redeemed three French captives which the Chik- 
kafah had taken in war, under their leader Pa-Tab- Mat ahah, I now be- 
ftowed them on him, to enable him to make a flourifhing entrance into 
Charles-town, after the manner of their American triumphs. He was 
very kind to them, though their manners were as favage as his own : ex 
cepting a few beads they ufed to count, with a fmall filver crofs fattened 
to the top of them, they had nothing to diftinguifh them, and were 
ignorant of every point of Chriftianity. I fet off with above twenty 
warriors, and a few women, along with the aforefaid war-leader, for 
Charles-town. As the French kept a watchful eye on my conduct, and 
the commanding officers of Turnbikpe garrifon in the Choktah, and the 
Alebahma in the Mufkohge country kept a continual communication with 
each other, the former equipped a party of their Choktah to retake the 
French captives by force, if we did not previoufly deliver them to a 
French party of the Mufkohge, who were fent by the latter as in the name 
of the whole nation, though falfely, to terrify us into a compliance. We 
had to pafs through the Mufkohge country in our way to the Britifh fet- 
tlements ; and though the French were at a great diftance, yet they planned 
their fchemes with confummate wifdom : for the two companies met at the 
time appointed, from two oppofite courfes of about a hundred and 
fifty miles apart, on the moft difficult pafs from Charles-town to the 
MifTifippi, where the path ran through a fwamp of ten miles, be 
tween high mountains ; which were impaflable in any other place for 
a great diftance, on either fide. Here, the Mufkohge left the Choktah 
company, and met us within half-a-day's march of their advantageous 
camping place. The foremoft of our party had almoft fired on thofe 
Mufkohge who were a-head of the reft ; but, as foon as they faw their 
white emblems of peace, they forebore, and we joined company. As 
foon as I heard them tell their errand, I fent out three warriors to recon 
noitre the place, left we mould unawares be furrounded by another party 
of them ; but there was no ambufcade. The Mufkohge leader was called 
by the traders, " the Lieutenant,'* and had been a fteady friend to their 
intereft, till by our ufual mifmanagement in Indian affairs, he became 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 333 

entirely devoted to the French j his behaviour was confident, and his ad- 
drefs artful. 

The red ambaflador fpoke much of the kindly difpofition of the French 
to fuch of his countrymen as were poor, and of their generous protection 
to the whole \ contrafted with the ambitious views of the Englifh, who were 
not content with their deer-fkins and beaver, but coveted their lands. He 
faid, " the Mufkohge were forry and furprifed that their old friends the 
Chikkafah, in concert with a mad Englifhman, mould feduce their warriors 
to join with them to fpill the blood of their French beloved friends, when 
they were by national confent, only to revenge crying blood againft 
the Aquahpah , and that the former would be aihamed to allow the latter 
to carry thofe captives, who were their friends, through their nation to- 
Charles-town. But, faid he, as the Mufkohge are defirons always to make 
hands with the Chikkafah, the head-men have fent me in their name, to 
requeft you Pa-Tab -Mat ah ah and other beloved warriors, to deliver to me 
thofe unfortunate prifoners, as a full proof you are defirous of tying faft the 
old friend-knot, which you have loofed in fome meafure." In this manner,, 
the red ambaflador of the dangerous Alebahma French captain flourifhed 
away and waited for a favourable anfwer, according to the confident hopes 
his employer had taught him to entertain, by the ftrong motive of felf- 

But though the daring Chikkafah leader, and each of us, according ta 
cuftom were filent, during the recital of the difagreeable harangue, only by 
ftern-fpeaking countenances, Pa-Tah-Matahah replied, " O you Mulkohge 
corrupted chieftain, who are degenerated fo low as to become a ftrong- 
mouthed friend of the French, whofe tongues are known of a long time, 
to be forked like thofe of the dangerous fnakes ; your fpeech has run- 
through my ears, like the noife of a threatening high wind, which attacks 
the traveller as foon as he climbs to the top of a rugged fleep mountain : 
though as he came along, the air was fcarcely favourable enough for him 
to breathe in. You fpeak highly in praife of the French ; and fo do the 
bafer fort of the Choktah, becaufe every year they receive prefents to make 
their lying mouths ftrong. That empty founding kettle, fattened at 
the top of your bundle along fide of you,, I know to be French, and a 
true picture both of their melTageSj and methods of fending them. The 


334 ^ n -Account of the Choktah Natron. 

other things it contains, I guefs, are of the fame forked-tongued family }. 
for if your fpeech had come from your own heart, it muft have been 
flraighter. What can be more crooked than it now is ? Though I have no 
eccafion to make any reply to your unjuft complaints againft the EnglHh 
people, as their chieftain, my friend, has his ears open, and can eafily con 
fute alf you faid againft his people and himfelf ; yet to prevent any rieed- 
lefs delay on our day's march, I fhall give as full an anfvver to your fpeech, 
as the (hart time we can day here will allow. Since the time the Englilh 
firft (halted hands with you, have not they always held you fad by the arm, 
clofe to their heart, contrary to the good liking of your favourite French ? 
And had they not helped you with a conftant fuppiy of every thing you 
flood in need of, in what manner could you have lived at home ? Befides, 
how could you have fecured your land from being fpoiled by the many 
friendly red people of the French, iffuing from the cold north ? Only for 
their brotherly help, the artful and covetous French, by the weight of pre- 
fents and the (kill of their forked tongues, would before now, have fet you 
to war againft each other, in the very fame manner they have done by the 
Choktah ; and when by long and fharp druggies, you had greatly weakened 
yourfelves, they by the afiiftance of their 'northern red friends, would have 
ferved you in the very fame manner, their lying mouths, from their own guilty 
hearts, have taught you fo unjuftly and fhamefully to repeat of the Englilh. 
You have openly acknowledged your bafe ingratitude to your bed and old 
fteady friends, who, I believe, could damage you as much as they have be 
friended you, if you provoke them to it. Allowing the fpeech you have ut 
tered with your mouth to be true, that you are fent by all the red chieftains 
of your Mufkohge people, were your hearts fo weak as to imagine it could 
any way frighten the Chikkafah ? Ye well know, the ugly yellow French 
have proved mod bitter enemies to us, ever fince we difappointed them 
in their fpiteful defign of inflaving and murdering our poor, defencelefs, 
.and inoffenfive red brethren, the Nahchee, on the banks of the Mefhef- 
heepe water-path. Ye may love them, if it feems good to your hearts ; 
your example that way (hall have no weight with us. We are born and 
bred in a date of war with them : and though we have lod the greater 
part of our people, chiefly through the mean fpirit of their red hirelings, 
who were continually dealing our people for the fake of a reward ; yet they 
feelingly know we beat them, and their employers, in every public engage 
ment. We are the fame people, and we lhall certainly live and die, in 
i fuch 

An Account of the Choktah Nafton. 33 r 

Fuch a manner as not to fully the ancient character of our warlike fore-fathers. 
As the French conftantly employed their red people in acts of enmity 
againft our Englilh traders, as well as us, my beloved friend, Handing there 
before you, complained of it to the Goweno-Minggo in Charles-town, (the 
Governor of South-Carolina) and he gave him Hoolbo Hoorefo Para/ka 
Orehtoopa^ (their method of exprefiing our provincial feal, for hooJbo fignifies 
a picture, hoorefo marked, or painted, parajka made bread of, and oretcopa 
beloved, or of high note or power,) I and my warriors gladly fhaked hands 
with his fpeech j and fo did thofe of your own country, who afiured 
us, they always fcorned to be fervants to the crafty lying French. At 
their own defire, our old beloved men crowned them warriors, in 
the mod public and folemn manner. They were free either to (hut 
or open their ears to the Englifh beloved fpeech. And why mould 
we not be as free to go to war againft our old enemies, as you are againft 
yours ? We are your friends by treaty ; but we fcorn a mean compliance 
to any demand, that would caft a difgrace on our national character. You 
have no right to demand of me thofe ugly French prifoners. We 
took them in war, at the rifque of blood : and at home in our national 
council, we firmly agreed not to part with any of them, in a tame man 
ner, till we got to Charles-town. If the Muflcohge are as defirous as we, 
to continue to hold each other firmly by the hand, we mail never looie 
the friend-knot : we believe fuch a tie is equally profitable to each, of 
us, and hope to- continue it, to the lateft times." 

When the French ambafladbr found he mufi fail in his chief aim, he- 
with a very fubmiflive tone, requeued the Chikkafah war-leader to give 
him a token, whereby he might get the other captives who were left 
at home : but as they ufually deny with modefty, he told him, he could not 
advife him to take the trouble to go there, as he believed the head-men had 
kept them behind on purpofe that they mould be burnt at the (lake, if any 
mifchance befell him and his warriors, before they returned home, on ac 
count of his French prifoners. Finding that his threats and entreaties both 
proved ineffectual, he v/as obliged to acquiefce. Soon after, we fet off, and 
he and his chagrined mercenaries quietly took up their travelling, bundles,, 
and followed us. 

On that day's marcfe, a little before we entered the long fwamp, 
all our Chikkafah friends ftaid behind, killing and cutting up buf 
falo :. 

336 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

falo : By this means, I was a confiderable way before the pack-horfes, 
when we entered into that winding and difficult pafs, which was a 
continued thicket. After riding about a mile, I difcovered the frefii 
tracks of three Indians. I went back, put the white people on their 
-guard, gave my horfe and fword to a corpulent member of the Sphynx- 
company, and fet off a-head, munning the path in fuch places where the 
favages were moft likely to poft themfelves. Now and then I put up the 
whoop on different iides of the path, both to fecure myfelf and intimi 
date the oppofite fcout-party ; otherwife, I might have paid dear for it, as 
I faw from a rifing point, the canes where they were palling, to make. 
I became more cautious, and they more fearful of being inclofed by our 
party. They ran off to their camp, and fpeedily from thence up the craggy 
rocks, as their tracks teftified. Their lurking place was as artfully chofen, 
as a wolf could have fixed on his den. When our friendly Indians came to our 
camp, it was too late to give chafe : they only viewed their tracks. At 
night, the Chikkafah war-leader gave out a very enlivening war fpeech, 
well adapted to the circumftances of time and place, and each of us 
lay in the woodland-form of a war-camp. As we were on our guard, 
the enemy did not think it confident with their fafety to attack us 
ambufcading is their favourite plan of operation. The next day 
by agreement, the Indians led the van, and I brought up the rear with 
the French prifoners. A fhort v/ay from our camp, there were fteep 
rocks, very difficult for loaded horfes to rear and afcend. Moft of them 
had the good fortune to get fafe up, but forne which I efcorted, tum 
bled backwards , this detained us fo long, that the van gained near three 
miles upon us. I polled myfelf on the top of one of the rocks, as a 
centinel to prevent our being furprifed by the Choktah, and difcovered them 
crawling on the ground behind trees, a confiderable way off, on the fide of 
a fteep mountain, oppofite to us. I immediately put up the war whoop, 
and told a young man with me the occafion of it ; but he being 
fatigued and vexed with his fharp exercife, on account of the horfes, 
only curled them, and faid, we were warriors, and would fight them, 
if they durft come near enough. As I was cool, I helped and haf- 
tened him off: in the mean while, I cautioned the captives againft at 
tempting to fly to the enemy in cafe they attacked us, as their lives 
mould certainly pay for it and they promifed they would not. We at 
laft fet off, and met with no interruption : the enemy having a lharp 
i dread 

An Account of the Choktah Nation. 337 

dread of our party ahead, who would have foon ran back to our afiiftance, 
had they attacked us About an hour after our company, we got to camp. 
The Choktah at night came down from the mountains, and creeped after us. 
Our camp was pitched on very convenient ground, and as they could not 
furprife us, they only viewed at a proper diftance, and retired. But they 
ufed an artful ftratagem, to draw fome of us into their treacherous fnares , 
for they Hole one of the bell horfes, and led it away to a place near 
their den, which was about a mile below us, in a thicket of reeds, where 
the creek formed a femi-circle. This horfe was a favourite with the gallant 
and active young man I had efcorted the day before to camp. 

As he was of a chearful and happy temper, the people were much furprifed 
to find him at night peevifh and querulous, contrary to every part of his 
paft conducti and though he delighted in arms, and carried them con- 
flantly when he went from camp, yet he went out without any this night, 
though I prefled him to take them. In lefs than an hour, he returned 
fafe, but confufed and dejected. When he fat down, he drooped his 
head on his hands, which were placed on his knees, and faid, the enemy 
were lurking, and that we mould foon be attacked, and fome of us killed. 
As I pitied the ftate of his mind, I only told him, that yefterday, he 
and I knew the French favages were watching to take an advantage of us ; 
but for his fatisfaction I would take a fweep, on foot, while the Chik- 
kafah painted themfelves, according to their war-cuftom when they ex 
pect to engage an enemy. I went out with my gun, pouch, and belt- 
piftols, and within two-hundred yards of the camp, difcovered the ene 
mies tracks ; they had pafied over a boggy place of the creek, upon an 
old hurricane-tree. I proceeded with the utmoft caution, porting myfelf 
now and then behind large trees, and looking out lharply left I fhould fall 
into an ambufcade, which the Choktah are cunning artifts in forming. 
In this manner I marched for three quarters of an hour, and then took to 
high ground, a little above the enemies camp, in order to return for help to 
attack them. But the aforefaid brave youth, led on by his ill genius, at this 
time mounted a fiery horfe, which foon ran into the ambufcade, where they 
fhot him with a bullet in his bread, and another entered a little below the heart. 
The horfe wheeled round in an initant, and fprung off", but in pitching over 
a large fallen tree, the unfortunate rider, by reafon of his mortal wounds, 

X x fell 

338 An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

fell off, a victim to the barbarians. One of them foon ftruck a tomohawk 
into his head, juft between his eyes, and jerked off a piece of fcalp 
about the bignefs of a dollar they took alfo his Indian breeches, and 
an handkerchief he had on his head, and immediately flew through 
a thicket of briars, to iecure their retreat. When they fired their two 
guns, I immediately gave the (hrill war-whoop, which was refounded by one 
of the Chikkafah that had been out a hunting from the camp. They in- 
ftantly fet off full fpeed, naked, except their Indian breeches and macca- 
fenes. I put myfelf in the fame flying trim, on the enemies firing -, we 
foon came to the tragical fpot, but without flopping, we took their 
tracks, gave chafe, and continued it a great way : unluckily, as we were 
running down a fteep hill, they difcovered us from the top of ano 
ther, and foon difperfed themfelves i by which means, not being able 
to difcover one track of thofe foxes on the hard hilly ground, we were 
obliged to give over the chace, and returned to camp. We buried our friend, 
by fixing in a regular manner a large pile of great logs for the corpfe, with 
big tough fapplings bent over it, and on each fide, thruft deep into the 
ground, to fecure it from the wild beads. Though the whole camp at 
firft imagined the enemy had killed me and captivated the other, yet the 
warriors did not mew the leaft emotion of gladn.fs, nor even my favourite 
friend, the war-leader, when they firft faw me fafe : but the women received 
me with tears of joy. I mention this to mew the force of education and 
habit thofe who are ufed to fcenes of war and blood, become obdurate and 
are loft to all the tender feelings of nature , while they, whofe employment it 
is to mourn for their dead, are fufceptibie of the tender imprefllons they 
were originally endued with by Deity. 

As the French frequently had been great fufferers by the Chikkafah, 
ever fince the year 1730, necefiity obliged them to bear their loffes with 
patience, till they could get them revenged by the friendly hands of their 
red mercenaries. As foon as they had ingratiated themfelves into the af 
fections of all thofe Indians who were incorporated among the Mufkohge, 
and had fettled them near the Alebahma-garrifon , and other towns, be- 
fides head-men, in fundry parts of the nation, being devoted to their fervice, 
they imagined they had now intereft enough to get feveral of thofe warriors 
killed, who had joined the Chikkafah againft their people over the Mifll- 
fippi. But the old head-men of the Mulkohge convened together, 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 339 

and agreed to fend a peremptory mefiage to the French, ordering them, 
forthwith, to defift from their bloody politics, otherwife the river mould 
carry their blood down to Mobille, and tell that garrifon, their own 
treachery was the fole occafion of it, by mifchievoufly endeavouring to 
foment a civil war between them, as they boafted they had done among 
the foolifh Choktah. With much regret they laid afide their fcheme, and 
were forced openly to v/ipe away the memory of every thing which had 
before given them offence \ and to include all indifcriminately in the 
treaty of friendmip, as all had only one fire. This proved a mortifying 
ftroke to the French on fundry accounts : and during the continuance of 
this diftracted fcene, if any Britim governor of capacity and public fpirit, 
had properly exerted himfelf, they muft have withdrawn to Mobille, 
without any poflibility of ever returning. For the enmity would foon 
have advanced to a moil implacable hatred, as in the cafe of the Chik- 
kafah and French : but fuch a conduct was incompatible with the private 
views of fome among us. 

As the fmall-pox broke out in our camp, when we got nigh to the Muf- 
kohge country, and detained the Indians there till they recovered, I fet off 
without them for Charles-town. By the benefit of the air, and their drink 
ing a ftrong decoction of hot roots, they all recovered. A Choktah warrior of 
Yahfhoo-town, humoroufly told me afterwards, that ookka boomeh, " the 
bitter waters," meaning fpirituous liquors, cured fome people, while 
it killed others. He, by the advice of one of the Englifh traders, ad- 
miniftered it in pretty good dofes to feven of his children in the fmall- 
pox, which kept out the corrupt humour, and in a fhort time perfectly cured 
each of ^hem, he faid, without the leaft appearance of any dangerous 
fymptoms j whereas the diforder proved very mortal to the- young 
people in the neighbourhood, who purfued a different courfe of phy- 
fic. As mod of the Indian traders are devotees of Bacchus, their mate- 
ria medica confifts of fpirituous liquors, compounded with ftrong herbs 
and roots, of which they commonly have a good knowledge : and I have 
obferved thofe who have left off the trade, and refide in the Britim fettle- 
ments, to give their negroes for an anti-venereal, a large dofe of old Ja 
maica and qualified mercury mixt together, which, they fay, the blacks 
cheerfully drink, without making a wry face, contrary to their ufage 

X x 2 with 

340 dn Account of the Choktah Nation. 

with every other kind of phyfic ; and it is affirmed, that by this prefcrip- 
tion, they foon get well. 

The fmall pox with which the upper towns of the Mulkohge were in 
fected, was of the confluent fort, and it would have greatly depopulated 
them, if the officious advice of fome among us, for all the other towns to cut 
off every kind of communication with them, on the penalty of death to any 
delinquent, had not been given and purfued. They accordingly potted cen- 
tinels at proper places, with ftrict orders to kill fuch, as the moft dangerous 
of all enemies : and thele cautious meafures produced the defired effect. And 
by the mean mediation of feveral of our principal traders, joined with the in- 
tereft of their red friends, the commandant of the Alebahma fort, prevailed 
at laft on the Chikkafah chieftain to take the three French prifoners to him, 
as he would pay him to his own fatisfaction, give him prefents, and drink 
with him as a friend, who had buried the bloody tomohawk deep in the 
ground. They were delivered up , and by that means the French were 
enabled to difcourage thofe Mufkohge warriors, who had joined the Chik 
kafah in the aforefaid acts of hoftility againft the Miffifippi inhabitants. 
In about the fpace of three months from the time the Chikkafah left their 
own country with me, they arrived at the late New-Windfor garrifon, the 
weftern barrier of South-Carolina, and beautifully fituated on a high com 
manding bank of the pleafant meandering Savanah river ; fo termed on 
account of the Shawano Indians having formerly lived there, till by our 
foolim meafures, they were forced to withdraw northward in defence of 
their freedom. 

At the requeft 'of the governor and council I rode there, to accom 
pany our Chikkafah friends to Charles-town, where, I believe, on my 
account, they met with a very cold reception : for as fomething I 
wrote to the two gentlemen who fitted out, and fuftained the lofs of 
the Sphynx-company, had been inferted in the " modeft reply to his Excel 
lency the Governor,' 3 formerly mentioned, in order to obtain bills of ex 
change on Great Britain, I was now become the great object of his 
difpleafure, and of a certain fett, who are known to patronife any 
perfons if they chance to be born in the fame corner of the world with 
themfelves. The Chikkafah had a very ungracious audience : On account 


An Account of the Choktah Nation* 341 

of the excefiive modefty of this warlike people, their chieftain gave out a 
fhort oration, without hinting in the moft diftant manner, at any difficul 
ties they underwent, by reafon of their ftrong attachment to the Britifh 
Americans, concluding, that as the Englim beloved men were endowed 
with a furprifing gift of expreffing a great deal in few words, long fpeeches 
would be troublefome to them. He intended to have fpoken afterwards of 
the Choktah affairs, and that I was a great fufferer by them, without any 
juft retribution, and accordingly was very defirous of a fecond public in 
terview , but our cunning beloved man artfully declined it, though they 
flaid as late as the middle of April. It was a cuftom with the colony of 
South-Carolina towards thofe Indians who came on a friendly vifit, to allow 
them now and then a tolerable quantity of fpirituous liquors, to cheer 
their hearts, after their long journey , but, if I am not miftaken, thofe I 
accompanied, had not a drop, except at my coft. And when the Governor 
gave them, at the entrance of the council-chamber, fome trifling prefents, 
he hurried them off with fuch an air as vexed them to the heart ; which 
was aggravated by his earneftly pointing at a noted war-leader, and 
myfelf, with an angry countenance, fwearing that Indian had been lately 
down from Savanah, and received prefents. They had fo much fpirit that 
they would not on any account have accepted his prefents, but for my perfua- 
fions. As for myfelf, I could not forbear faying, honour compelled me as fo- 
lemnly to declare that his aiTertion was not true, and that I had often given 
more to the Choktah at one time, than he had ever given to the 
Chikkafah, in order to rivet their enmity againft the French of Louifiana, 
and thereby open a lafting trade with them, from which I was unfairly 
excluded, on account of a friendly monopoly, granted by him for a certain 
end to mere ftrangers. My words feemed to lie pretty (harp upon him, and 
I fuppofe contributed not a little to the uncourtly leave he took of 
our gallant, and faithful old friends. Soon after, at the requeft of the 
Governor and council however, I accompanied them the firft day's march, 
on their way home from Charles-town : they had no public order of credit 
for their needful travelling charges, though I follicited his Excellency and 
the council to grant them one, according to the ancient, hofpitable, and 
wife cuftom of South-Carolina, to all Indians who paid them a friendly vifir, 
whofe journey was far Ihorter, were often uninvited, and of much lefs 
fervice, than the Chikkafah ta the Britifh intereft. As their horfes were 


342 ^ n Account of the Choktah Nation. 

very poor, I told the Governor they could travel only at a flow pace, and 
as the wild game was fcarce in our fettlements, hunger, and refent- 
inent for their unkind ufage, would probably tempt them to kill the planters 
(lock, which might produce bad confequences, and ought to be cau- 
tioufly guarded again ft ; but I was an unfortunate folicitor. 

With a flow of contrary paflions I took my leave of our gallant Chikkafah 
friends. I viewed them with a tender eye, and revolved in my mind the 
fatigues, difficulties, and dangers, they had cheerfully undergone, to teftify 
the intenfe affection they bore to the Britifli Americans, with the ill treat 
ment they had received from our chief magiftrate, on account of his own dif- 
appointments, and fharp-felt cenfures, for fome fuppofed mifmanagement, 
or illicit mealiires in trade. He is reported to have been no way churlifh to 
feveral of the daftardly Choktah, notwithftandirig his unprecedented and 
unkind treatment of our warlike Chikkafah two hundred of which would 
attack five hundred of the others, and defeat them with little lofs. Their 
martial bravery has often teftified this again ft enemies even of a greater 

Not long after the Chikkafah returned homeward, I advertifed in the 
weekly paper, that as I intended to leave Charles-town in a fhort time, I was 
ready and willing to anfwer any of the legiflative body fuch queftions 
as they might be pleafed to propofe to me concerning our Indian affairs, 
before the expiration of fuch a time ; and that if his Excellency defired 
my attendance, and either notified it in writing, or by a proper officer, 
I might be found at my old lodgings. On the evening of the very laft 
day I had propofed to (lay, he fent me a peremptory written order to at 
tend that night, on public bufinefs, concerning Indian affairs ; I punctually 
obeyed, with refpect to both time and place. He was now in a dilemma, 
by reafon of his (fuppofed) felf-interefted conduct concerning the Chok 
tah trade, which occafioned the aforefaid modeft reply-, that arraigned his 
proceedings with feverity and plainnefs. As I came down with the Indians, 
and was detained by his Excellency, under the great feal of the pro 
vince, till this period, April 1750, I had juft reafon to expect that good 
faith would have been kept with me that I fhould have been paid ac 
cording to promife, at leaft for all the goods I gave the Indians, by vir 
tue thereof i and have had a juft compenfation for the great expences I 


An Account of the Choktah Nation. 343 

was at in ferving the government i but except the the trifling fum of four 
pounds fterling, when I was fetting off for the Indian country, I never 
received one farthing of the public money, for my very expenfive, faithful, 
and difficult fervices. 

In mod of our American colonies, there yet remain a few of the natives, 
who formerly inhabited thofe extenfive countries : and as they were 
friendly to us, and ferviceable to our interefts, the wifdom and virtue of 
our legiflature fecured them from being injured by the neighbouring nations. 
The French ftrictly purfued the fame method, deeming fuch to be more 
ufeful than any others on alarming occafions. We called them " Parched- 
corn-Indians,'* becaufe they chiefly ufe it for bread, are civilized, and live 
moftly by planting. As they had no connection with the Indian nation?, 
and were ddirous of living peaceable under the Britifh protection, none 
could have any juft plea to kill or inilave them. But the grafping plan 
of the French required thofe dangerous fcout-parties, as they termed them, 
to be removed out of the way ; and the dormant conduct of the South- 
Carolina chief, gave them an opportunity to effect that part of their de- 
fign ; though timely notice, even years before, had been given by the Chee- 
rake traders, that the French priefts were poifoning the minds of thofe 
Indians againft us, who live among the Apalahche mountains, and were 
endeavouring to reconcile them to all the various nations of the Miffifippi 
and Canada favages ; and that there was the greateft probability they 
would accomplifh their dangerous plan, unlefs we foon took proper 
meafures to prevent it. The informers had ill names and refentment 
for their news, and the aflembly was charged with mifpending their time, in 
taking notice of the wild incoherent reports of illiterate obfcure perfons. 
But it afterwards appeared, that according to their teftimony, the intereft and 
fecurity of South- Carolina were in great danger. By the diligence of the 
French, their Indians entered into a treaty of friendfhip with the Cheerake : 
and their country became the rendezvous of the red pupils of the black 
Jefuits. Hence they ravaged South-Carolina, beginning at the fron 
tier weak fettlements, and gradually advanced through the country, for 
the fpace of eight years, deftroying the live ftockj infulting, frightening, 
wounding, and fometimes killing the inhabitants, burning their houles, car 
rying away their flaves, and committing every kind of devaftation, till they 
proceeded fo low as within thirty miles of Charles-town. The fufferers often 
exhibited their complaints, in the moft pathetic and public manner 5 and 
5 the 

344 -An -Account of the Choktah Nation. 

the whole country felt the ill effects of the late over-bearing and negligent 
conduft. Falfe colouring could ferve no longer, and a few inconfiderable 
parties were fent out but not finding any enemy, they were in a few months 
difbanded, and peaceable accounts were again fent home. 

Our Settlement-Indians were at this time clofely hunted, many were killed, 
and others carried off. A worthy gentleman, G. H. Efq; who lived at the 
Conggarees, fuffered much on the occafion he was employed to go to the 
Cheerake country, in queft of valuable minerals, in company with an Indian 
commiffioner : in one of their middle towns, he retook fome of our Settle 
ment-Indians from the Canada-favages, whom a little before they had capti 
vated and carried off from South-Carolina in triumph. While they were beat 
ing the drum, finging, dancing, and pouring the utmoft contempt on the 
Englifli name, honour prompted him to prefer the public credit to his own 
fafety. By the earned mediation of one of the traders, the head-men of 
the town confented to be neutral in the affair, and ad as impartial friends 
to both parties. He then, with Col. F x, and fome of the traders, went 
in a warlike gallant manner, and regardlefs of the favages threats, took 
and brought to a trader's houfe, our captivated friends : they ftood all night 
on their arms, and at a convenient interval, fupplied thofe whom they had 
liberated, with neceflaries to carry them to our fettlements, where their 
trufty heels foon carried them fafe. The gallant behaviour of thofe 
gentlemen gained the applaufe of the Cheerake and each foon returned 
in fafety, without any interruption, to their refpeclive homes, where I 
wifh they had ever after continued. But Mr. G. H. having confiderably 
engaged himfelf in trade with the Katahba Indians, fet off afterwards in com 
pany with an half-bred Indian of that nation, the favourite fon of Mr. T. B. 
a famous old trader : in their way to the Katahba, they were intercepted, 
and taken by fome of the very favages who had threatened him among the 
Cheerake, when he releafed our domeftic Indians. The government of 
South-Carolina was foon informed of the unhappy affair : and they dif- 
patched a friendly embafiy to the lower towns of the Cheerake, requefting 
them to intercept and retake the prifoners, if they paffed near their coun 
try, and offered a confiderable reward. Our friends were carried a 
little to the northward of the Cheerake nation, where their captors camped 
feveral days, and the Cheerake held with them an open friendly intercourfe, 
as in defpite to the Englifh. The head men of the lower towns, not only 
flopped the traders and their red friends from going to refcue them, 
5 but 

sin Account of the Choktah Nation. 54$ 

but likewife threatened them for their generous intention. The favages, 
inftead of keeping a due northern courfe homeward, took a large com- 
pafs north-weft, by the fide of the Cheerake mountains, being afraid 
of a purfuit from the Katahba Indians. They marched faft with their two 
captives, to fecure their retreat till they got within the bounds of the French 
treaty of peace, and then fteered a due northern courfe, continuing it 
till they got nigh to their refpective countries, where they parted in two 
bodies, and each took one of the prifoners with them. But as travelling 
fo great a way in the heat of fummer, was what Mr. G. H. was unaccuf- 
tomed to, he was fo much overcome by fatigue and ficknefs, that for feve- 
ral days before, he could not poflibly walk. He then requefted them to 
put him out of his mifery, but they would not ; for they reckoned his civil 
language to them proceeded from bodily pains, and from a martial 
fpirit, which they regard. They confented to carry him on a bier, which 
they did both with care and tendernefs. But on parting with his compa 
nion, he refufed abfolutely to proceed any farther with them, when they 
tomohawked him, juft as his parted friend was out of the hearing of 
it. The laft afterwards got home, and told us this melancholy exit of 
our worthy and much-lamented friend who died as he lived, always de- 
fpifing life, when it was to be preferved only in a ftate of flavery. Though 
he was thus loft to his family and the community, by a manly performance 
of the duties of his office, in which he engaged by the prefling entreaties 
of the Governor, yet his widow was treated ungeneroufly and bafely, as 
was Capt. J. P. at the Conggarees. But there vrould be no end, if we 
were to enter into particulars of court policy, and government honor and 

If our watch-men had not been quite remifs, they would have at lead 
oppofed the French emiffaries on their firft approach to our colonies, 
and have protected our valuable civilized Indians ; for our negroes were 
afraid to run away, left they fhould fall into their hands. The fcheming 
French knew of what importance they were to us, and therefore they em 
ployed their red friends to extirpate them. And while thofe remote fa 
vages of Miffifippi and Canada were pretending to feek the revenge of 
fome old grievance, they wounded us at the fame time in two very ma 
terial points, in getting a thorough knowledge of the fituation of our 
moft valuable, but weak fouthern colonies, and thus could ftrike us the 

Y y deeper, 

346 An Account of the Choktah Nation*. 

deeper, and in deftroying fuch of our inhabitants, as were likely to prove*- 
the greateft check to their intended future depredations. By our own mif- 
conduct, we twice loft the Shawano Indians ; who have fmce proved very hurt 
ful to our colonies in general. When the French employed them to weaken 
South-Carolina, a fmall company of them were furrounded and taken in a- 
remote houfe of the lower fettlements : and though they ought to have- 
been inftantly put to death, in return for their frequent barbarities to our 
people, yet they were conveyed to prifon, confined a confiderable time, and 
then difcharged, to the great lofs of many innocent lives. For as the In 
dians reckon imprifonment to be inflaving them, they never forgive fuch 
treatment > and as foon as thefe got clear, they left bloody traces of their 
vindictive tempers, as they pafled along. About this time, a large com 
pany of French iavages came from the head-ftreams of Monongahcla-river 
to the Cheerake, and from thence were guided by one of them to where our 
fettlement-Indians refided. They went to a fmall town of the Euhchee, 
about twelve miles below Savanah-town, and two below Silver-bluff, where 
G. G. Efq-, lives, and there watched like wolves, till by the mens making 
a day's hunt, they found an opportunity to kill the women and children; 
Immediately after which, they fcouted off different ways, fome through 
Savanah-river, which is about 200 yards broad ; and others to the hunting 
place, both for their own fecurity, and to give the alarm : We had on this 
occafion, a ftriking inftance of the tender affection of the Indian women to 
their children, for all thofe who efeaped, carried off their little ones. The 
men, by the alarming fignal of the mrill-founding war-cry, foon joined^ 
ran home, and without flaying to view the bloody tragedy, inftantly took 
the enemies tracks, and eagerly gave chafe. To avoid the dreaded purfuit,, 
the Cheerake guide led the French mercenaries a northern courfe, as far as 
the thick woods extended, which was about fifteen miks from the place 
of their murders. From thence they fliifted towasd the north- weft, and 
were ftretching away about 10 miles to the north of Augufta, for Ninety- 
Six, which lay in a direct line to the lower towns of the Cheerake ; when un 
luckily for them,juft as they were entering into the open, and long-continued 
pine-barren, they were difcovered by one of our hunting white men, who was 
mounted on an excellent white horfe, and therefore a fine mark to be fhot, 
which they would have done for their own fecurity, only he outftripped them, 
and kept in their back-tracks, to trace them to their theatre of blood 
iheir pofture a^d countenances plainly told him what they had , done, on. 
J fame 

An Account of the Choktah Nation. 247 

"fome of our barriers. He had not proceeded far, when he met the enraged 
Euhchee, on the hot purfuit. He told them their courfe, and that their 
number was twenty-fix. In running about twelve miles farther, they came 
in fight of the objects of their hatred and rage : prefently, they ran on 
each fide of them, engaged them clofely, and killed feveral. Thofe who 
efcaped, were forced to throw away nine guns, (they had taken from fome 
of our people) and almoft every thing, even their light breeches, to fave their 
lives. They were fo exceedingly terrified, left the enraged purfuers mould 
continue the chafe, that they pafied wide of our then weak fettlement of 
Ninety-Six, and kept on day and night, till they got near to their con 
ductor's mountainous country. This was in the beginning of May 1750: 
and in our Indian-trading way, we fay that, when the heat of the new year 
enables the fnakes to crawl out of their lurking holes, the favages are 
equally moved to' turn out to do mifchief. Many have experimentally felt 
the truth -of this remark. 

I had at this time occafion to go to the Cheerake country; and 
happened to have a brave chearful companion, Mr. H. F. of Ninety- 
Six fettlement. We had taken a hearty draught of punch, about ten 
miles from Keeohwhee-town, oppofite to which the late Fort-Prince-George 
flood, and were proceeding along, when we difcovered the frefh tracks of 
Indians in the path, who were gone a-head. As we could not reafonably 
have the leaft fufpicion of their being enemies, we rode quite carelefly : 
but they proved to be the above-mentioned Monongahela-Indians. Their 
watchfulnefs, and our finging, with the noife of our horfes feet, made 
them hear us before they could pofiibly fee us, when they fuddenly pofted 
themfelves off" the path, behind fome trees, juft in the valley of Six-mile- 
creek, in order to revenge their lofs by the Euhchee, which they afcribed 
to the information of the white man. But their Cheerake guide prevented 
them from attempting it, by telling them, that as his country was not at 
war with us, his life muft pay for it, if they chanced to kill either of us ; 
and as we were frefh and well-armed, they might be 'fure we would fight 
them fo fuccefsfully, as at leaft one of us mould elcape and alarm the 
towns : with this caution they forbore the hazardous attempt. They fquat- 
ted, and kept clofe therefore, fo as we did not fee one of them ; and we 
fufpected no danger. By the difcontinuance of their tracks, we foon 
Jknew we had pafTed them ; but, juft when we had hidden two cags of 

y y 2 

An Account of the Choktah Nation. 

rum, about two miles from the town, four of them appeared, -unarmed^ 
ftark naked, and torn by the thickets. When we difcovered them, we 
concluded they had been below on mifchief. If we had not been fo nigh 
the town, my companion would have fired at them. We went into the 
town, and the traders there foon informed us of their cowardly defign. 

We went as far as the mid-fettlements, and found moft of the towns 
much difaffeded to us, and in a fluctuating fituation, through the artifice 
of the French. In a few days we returned, but found they had blocked 
up all the trading paths, to prevent our traders from making their efcape. 
Juft as we defcended a fmall mountain, and were about to afcend a very 
fteep one, a hundred yards before us, which was the firft of the Apalahche, 
or blue ridge of mountains, a large company of the lower town Indians 
darted out from the Hoping rocks, on the north fide of the path, a lit 
tle behind us. As they were naked except their breech-cloth, were 
painted red and black, and accoutered every way like enemies, I bid my 
companion leave the luggage-horfes and follow me : but as he left his arms 
at the lower town, and was not accuftomed to fuch furprifes, it fhocked 
him, till they ran down upon him. On this I turned back, and flood on 
my arms, expecting they would have fired upon us. However, they 
propofed fome queftions, which I anfwered, as to where we had been, 
and were going, and that we were not any of their traders. Had it been- 
otherwife, the difpute would have been dangerous. We got over the 
mountain, and fafe to Tymahfe ; here we refted two nights, and found 
the people diftra&ed for mifchief, to which the many caufes before 
mentioned prompted them. The governor, in lefs than a month after 
this period, had the ftrongeft confirmation of the ill intention of thefe 
favages and their allies. Many exprefles with intelligence I fent, but the 
news was pocketed, and my fervices traduced becaufe I would not afllft the 
prime magistrate in a bad caufe, he and his, humble fervants depreciated 
the long feries of public fervices I had faithfully performed, and called 
them mere accidental trifles ; contrary to his former acknowledgments, both 
verbal and in writing. The French, however, had a different opinion of 
my fervices j they were fo well acquainted with the great damages I had 
done to them, and feared others I might occafion, as to confine me a 
clofe prifoner for a fortnight when I went to the Alebahma-garrifon, in 
5 the 

An Account of the Choktah Nation. 349 

the Mulkohge country. They were fully refolved to have fent me down to 
Mobille or New Orleans, as a capital criminal, to be hanged for having 
abetted the Mufkohge, Chikkafah, and Choktah, to med a torrent of their 
chriftian blood ; though I had only retaliated upon them, the long train of 
blood they had years before wantonly fpilled. They wanted to have 
confronted me with the French prifoners I formerly mentioned, and with 
the Long Lieutenant, whom we met two days before the Choktah killed 
one of our people below Book'pharaah^ or the long fvvamp. I was well 
allured, he was to have gone down to be baptized, and fo become a good 
Wefl-Florida-Frcnch chriftian, in order to condemn me, the poor bloody 
heretic. I faw him, and they had by this time taught him to count beads ; 
but I doubted not of being able to extricate myfelf fome way or other. 
They appointed double Gentries over me, for fome days before I was to 
be fent down in the French king's large boat. They were ftriclly charged 
againft laying down their weapons, or fuffering any hoftile thing to be 
in the place where I was kept, as they deemed me capable of any mif- 
chief. I was not indeed locked up, only at night, left it mould give um 
brage to our friendly Indians, but I was to have been put in irons, as 
foon as the boat pafled the Indian towns, that lay two miles below the 
fort, in the forks of the Koofah and Okwhufke rivers. About an hour 
before we were to fet off by water, I efcaped from them by land : and 
though they had horfes near at hand, and a corrupt town of favages fet 
tled within 1 50 yards of the garrifon, yet under thofe difadvantages, befides 
heavy rains that loofened the ground the very night before, I took through 
the middle of the low land covered with briers, at full fpeed. I hea-rd the 
French clattering on horfe-back along the path, a great way to my left 
hand, and the howling favages purfuing my tracks with careful fteps, but 
my ufual good fortune enabled me to leave them far enough behind, on 
a needlefs purfuit. As they had made my arms prifoners, I allowed them 
without the leaft regret to carry down my horfes, clothes, &c. and punifh 
them by proxy, in the manner they intended to have ferved the owner, for 
his faithful iervices to his country. 

While Governor G prefided in South -Carolina, it was needlefs to ap 
ply for a payment of the large debt the government owed me: but on 
his being fucceeded by his Excellency W. H. L. Efq; I imagined this a 


3.50 An Account of tie Choktah Nation, 

favourable time to make my addrefs. This worthy patriot had been well in 
formed, by feveral Indian trading merchants of eminent character, of the 
expenfive, difficult, and faithful fervices I had cheerfully done my country, 
to the amount of above one thoufand pounds fterling on the public faith, 
and of the ungenerous returns I had received : he according to his natural 
kindnefs and humanity, <promifed to affift me. I then laid my cafe, with 
the well-known and important facts, before the members of the houfe of 
aflembly in Charles-town ; and when they convened, prefented a memorial 
to the legislative body. But feveral of the country reprefentatives happened 
to be abfent ; and as the governor could not be reafonably expected in a 
ibort time, to purify the infected air which had prevailed in that houfe for 
fourteen years, a majority of the members had evidently determined not to 
alleviate my long complaint of grievances. To invalidate its force, they 
objected, that my claim was old , but did not attempt to prove the leaft 
tittle of what I exhibited to them to be falfe : they knew they could not. 
After a long and warm debate, when my fecret enemies obferved the clerk of 
the houfe was drawing near to the conclufion of my memorial, they feized 
cm a couple of .unfortunate monofyllables. I had faid, that " the Indian 
Choktah had a great many fine promifes ," the word fine was put to 
the torture., as reflecting on the very fine-promifing gentleman. And 
in another fentence, I mentioned the time his excellency the late Governor 
of South-Carolina did me the honour to write me a very fmocth artful letter, 
by virtue of which J went all the way to Charles-town, &c. The word 
fmooth, fo highly ruffled the fmooth tempers of thofe gentlemen, that they 
carried a vote by a majority, and had it regiftered, importing, that 
they objected againft the indelicacy, or impropriety, of the language in 
my memorial, but not againft the merit of its contents. The minute, I 
here in a more public manner record anew, to the lafling honour of the 
perfons who promoted it. The voice of oppreffed truth, and injured inno 
cence, can never be wholly ftifled. Left my memorial mould again appear 
at the public bar of juftice, in a iefs infected time, it was not fent to the 
office , which indicates that the former art of pocketing was not yet entirely 
forgotten. Indeed every ftate fuffers more or Iefs, from fome malign in 
fluence, on time or other ; but I have the happinefs to fay that the infection 
was not univerfal. South-Carolina has always beep blefled with fteady pa 
triots, even in the mod corrupt times : and may me abound with firm pil- 
J.ars of the conftitution, according to our Magna Charta Americana, as 

An Account of the Choktah Nation. 35* 

in the prefent trying sera of blefled memory, fo long as the heavenly rays 
Ihali beam upon us ! 

As the power and happinefs of Great Britain greatly depends on the' 
profperity of her American colonies, and the heart-foundnefs of her 
civil and ecclefiaftical rulers and as the welfare of America hangs on the- 
balance of a proper intercourfe with their Indian neighbours, and oan never 
be continued but by obferving and inforcing on both fides, a drift adherence 
to treaties, fupporting public faith, and allowing only a fufficient number 
of fuch faithful and capable fubjecls to deal with them, as may gain their 
affedlions, and prove faithful centinels for the public fecurity I prefume 
that the above relations, and obfervations, inftead of being thought to be 
foreign, will be deemed eflential to an hiftory of the. Indians. The re 
marks may be conducive alfo to the public welfare. Ignorance, or felf-in- 
tereft, has hitherto wrongly informed the community of the true fituation* 
of our Indian affairs weftward. 

A N 

[ 352 ] 


O F T H E 


THE Chikkafah country lies in about 35 Deg. N. L. at the dif- 
tance of 160 miles from the eaftern fide of the Miflifippi ; 160 miles 
to the N. of the Choktah, according to the courfe of the trading path ; 
about half way from Mobille, to the Illinois, from S. to N j to the W. N. 
W. of the Mufkohge (Creeks) about 300 computed miles, and a very 
mountainous winding path ; from the Cheerake nearly W. about 540 miles ; 
the late Fort-Loudon is by water 500 miles to the Chikkafah landing place, 
but only 95 computed miles by land. 

The Chikkafah are now fettled between the heads of two of the moft 
weftern branches of Mobille-river ; and within twelve miles of the eaftern 
main fource of Tahre Hacbc y which lower down is called Chokchooma- 
river, as that nation made their firft fettlements there, afcer they came 
on the other fide of the Miflifippi. Where it empties into this, they call 
it Tabjbeo-river. Their tradition fays they had ten thoufand men fit 
for war, when they firft came from the weft, and this account feems very 
probable ; as they, and the Choktah, and alfo the Chokchooma, who in pro- 
cefs of time were forced by war to fettle between the two former nations, 
came together from the weft as one family. The Chikkafah in the year 
i 20, had four large contiguous fettlements, which lay nearly in the form 
of three parts of a fquare, only that the eaftern fide was five miles fhorter 
than the weftern, with the open part toward the Choktah. One was called 
Yaneka, about a mile wide, and fix miles long, at the diftance of twelve 


An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 353 

miles from their prefent towns. Another was ten computed miles long, 
at the like diftance from their prefent fettlements, and from one to two 
miles broad. The towns were called Sbatara, Cbookheerefo, Hy kebab, Tuf- 
kawillao, and Pbalacbebo. The other fquare was fingle, began three miles 
from their prefent place of refidence, and ran four miles in length, and one 
mile in breadth. This was called Chookka Phardah> or " the long houfe." 
It was more populous than their whole nation contains at prefent. The 
remains of this once formidable people make up the northern angle of 
that broken fquare. They now fcarcely confifl of four hundred and fifty 
warriors, and are fettled three miles weftvvard from the deep creek, In a 
clear tract of rich land, about three miles fquare, running afterward 
about five miles toward the N. W. where the old fields are ufually a mile 
broad. The fuperior number of their enemies forced them to take into 
this narrow circle, for focial defence ; and to build their towns, on com 
manding ground, at fuch a convenient diftance from one another, as to 
have their enemies, when attacked, between two fires. 

Some of the old Nahchee Indians who formerly lived on the Miflifippi, 
two hundred miles weft of the Choktah, told me the French demanded 
from every one of their warriors a dreft buck-fkin, without any value for 
it, i. e. they taxed them -, but that the warriors hearts grew very crofs, 
and loved the deer-fkins. According to the French accounts of the Miffi- 
fippi-Indians, this feems to have been in the year 1729. As thofe Indians 
were of a peaceable and kindly difpofition, numerous and warlike, and 
.always kept a friendly intercourfe with the Chikkafah, who never had any 
good-will to the French -, thefe foon underftood their heart-burnings, and 
by the advice of the old Englifh traders, carried them white pipes and to 
bacco in their own name and that of South-Carolina, perfuading them 
with earneftnefs and policy to cut off the French, as they were refolved to 
inflave them in their own beloved land. The Chikkafah fucceeded in their 
embafly. But as the Indians are flow in their councils on things of great 
importance, though equally clofe and intent, it was the following year before 
they could put their grand fcheme in execution. Some of their head 
men indeed oppofed the plan, yet they never difcovered it. But when thefe 
went a hunting in the woods, the embers burft into a raging flame. They at 
tacked the French, who were flourifhing away in the greateft fecurity ; and, 
as was affirmrd, they entirely cut dff the garrifon, and neighbouring fettle- 

Z z ments, 

354 -An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 

ments, confiding of fifteen hundred men, women, and children the mi 
conduct of a few indifcreet perfons x occasioned fo great a number of inno 
cent lives, to be thus cut off. 

The Nahchee afterwards built and fettled a ftrong ftockade fort, wefti 
ward of their old fields, near a lake that communicates with Bayouk Dar~ 
gent-, but the enfuihg fummer, near 2000 French regulars and provincials, 
befides a great body of the Choktah and other favages inverted it. The 
befieged fallied. oa them, with, the utmoft fury, killed a confiderablc 
number, and in all probability, would have totally deftroyed the white 
foldiery, . but for the fharp oppofition of 'the Choktah in their own method 
of fighting. The Nahchee were at length rcpulfed, and bombarded witft 
three mortars, which forced them to fly off different ways. The foldiers 
were too flow footed, to purfue ; but the Choktah, and- other red allies; 
captivated a great number of them, and' carried them to New Or- 
kans, where feveral were burned, and the reil fent as flaves to the Weft 
India Iflands : the greater part however went to the Chikkafah, where they 
were fecured from the power of their French enemies. The French, 
demanded them, but being abfolutely refufed, unluckily for many thou- 
fands of them, they formally declared war againft the Chikkafah. In the 
open fields the Chikkafah bravely withftood, and repelled the greateft com" 
bined armies they were able to bring againft them, north and fouth, and 
gave them and, their fwarms of red allies feveral notable defeats. 

A body of the lower French, and about fourteen hundred Choktah, 
attacked the Long Houfe Town, when only fixty warriors were at 
home ; yet they fought fo defperately, as to fecure themfeives, their 
women and children,, tilt fome of the hunters, who had been imme 
diately fent for, came home to, their affiftance , when, though exceed 
ingly inferior in number, they drove them off with great lofs. Another 
time, the lower and upper Louifiana-French, and a great body of red auxi 
liaries, furprifed late at night alltheir prefent towns, except AmalShta, that: 
had about forty warriors, and which flood at fome diftance from the others. 
A confiderable number of the enemy were pofted at every door, to prevent 
their efcape ; and what few ran out were killed on the fpot. The French 
ieemed quite fure of their prey, having fo well inclofed it. But, at the dawn 
of day, when they were capering and ufing thofc fiourifbes, that are peculiar 


An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 355 

to that volatile nation, the other town drew round them ftark naked, and 
painted all over red and black ; thus they attacked them, killed numbers on 
the fpot, releafed their brethren, who joined them like enraged lions, increa- 
fing as they fwept along, and in their turn incircled their enemies. Their re- 
leafe increafed their joy and fury, and they rent the fky with their founds. 
Their flamy enemies, now changed their boafting tune, into "Oh mor- 
blieu !" and gave up all for loft. Their red allies out-heel'd them, and 
left them to receive their juft fate. They were all cut off but two, an offi 
cer, and a negroe who faithfully held his horfe till he mounted, and then 
ran along fide of him. A couple of fwift runners were fent after them, 
who foon came up with them, and told them to live and go home and in 
form their people, that as the Chikkafah hogs had now a plenty of .ugly 
French carcafes to feed on till next year, they hoped then to have another 
vifit from them and their red friends ; and that, as meffengers, they wilhed 
them fafe home. They accordingly returned with heavy .hearts to the 
Chikkafah landing place, N. W.-on the Mifilfippi, at the diftance 
of 170 miles, where they took boat, and delivered their unexpected 
meflage: grief and trembling fpread through the .country, and the 
inhabitants could not fecure themfelves from the fury of thefe war 
like, and enraged Chikkafah. Every one of their prifoners was put to 
the fiery torture, without any poflibility of redemption, their hearts were 
fo exceedingly imbittered againft them. 

Flumed with this fuccefs, many parties turned out againft the French, 
and from time to .time hunted them far and near : forne went to the 
Miffifippi, made a fleet of cyprefs-bark canoes, watched their trading boats, 
and cut off many of them without faving any of the people. The French 
finding it impracticable for a few boats to pafe thofe red men of war, were 
obliged to go in a fleet, carry fwivel-guns in their long pettiaugres, with 
plenty of men \ but always Ihunning the Chikkafah fide of the river, and 
oblerving the ftri&eft order in their movements by day, and in their ftations 
at night. The walking of a wild beaft, I have been aflured, has frequently 
called them to their arms, and kept them awake for the whole njght, they 
were in fo great a dread of this warlike nation. The name of a Chik 
kafah became as dreadful, as it was hateful to their ears. And had ic 
not been more owing to French policy than bravery, in uniting all the 
.Miffifippi and Canada-Indians in a confederacy and enmity againft them, Lou- 

,Z z z ifiana- 

356 An Account of the Chlkkafah Nation* 

ifiana-fettlements would have been long fince, either^ entirely deftroyed, or 
confined to garrifons. 

When any of the French armies made a tolerable retreat, they thought 
themfelves very happy. Once, when the imprefiion was pretty much worn 
out of their minds, and wine infpired them with new ftratagems, and hopes of 
better fuccefs, a great body of them, mixed with a multitude of favages, 
came to renew their attack. But as their hoftile intentions were early 
difcovered, the Chikkafah had built a range of ftrong ftockade forts 
on ground which could not fafely be approached, as the contigu 
ous land was low, and chanced then to be wet. A number of the French 
and their allies drew near the weflern fort, but in the manner of hornets, 
flying about to prevent their enemies from taking a true aim, while fe- 
veral ranks followed each other in a flow and folemn procefilon, like 
white-robed, tall, midnight-ghofts, and as if fearlefs, and impenetrable. 
The Indians did not at firft know what fort of animals they were, for 
feveral foots had been fired among them, without incommoding them, or 
retarding their direct courfe to the fort : as they advanced nearer, the Chik 
kafah kept a continual fire at them, with a fure aim, according to their cut- 
torn i this was with as little fuccefs as before, contrary to every attempt they 
had ever made before agahift their enemies. The warriors concluded them 
to be wizards, or old French-men carrying the ark of war againft them. 
In their council, they were exceedingly perplexed : but juft as they 
had concluded to oppofe fome of their own reputed prophets to deftroy 
the power of thofe cunning men, or powerful fpirits of the French, lo ! 
thofe uncommon appearances fpread themfelves< in battle-array, along the 
fouth-fide of the fort, and threw hand-granadoes into the fort. Hoop Hoop 
Ha was now joyfully founded every where by the Chikkafah, being con 
vinced they had fkin and bone to fight with, inftead of fpirits. The 
matches of the few Ihells the French had time to throw, were too long - 3 
and as our traders had joined their friends by this time, they pulled out fome, 
and threw our. other (hells, as near to the enemy as they poffibly could. They 
foon found thofe dreadful phantoms were only common French-men, co 
vered with wool-packs, which made their breads invulnerable to all their 
well-aimed bullets. They now turned out of the fort, fell on, fired at 
their legs, brought down many of them arid fcalped them, and drove the 
others with confiderable lofs quite away to the fouthern hills, where the 


An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 357 

trembling army had polled themfelves out of danger. In the midft of the 
night they decamped, and faved themfelves by a well-timed retreat, left 
the Chikkafah triumphant, and infpired them with the fiercenefs of fo many 
tygers ;. which the French often fatally experienced, far and near, till the 
late cefiion of Weft-Florida to Great Britain. I have two of thefe mells, 
which I keep with veneration, as fpeaking trophies over the boafting Mon- 
fieurs, and their bloody fchemes. 

Tn the year 1 748, the French fent a party of their Indians to ftorm fome 
of the Chikkafah traders' houfes. They accordingly came to my trading 
houfe firft, as I lived in the frontier : finding it too dangerous to at 
tempt to force it, they patted with their hands a confiderable time on one 
of the doors, as a decoy, imitating the earneft rap of the young wo 
men who go a vifiting that time of night. Finding their labour in vain, one 
of them lifted a billet of wood, and ftruck the fide of the houfe, where 
the women and children lay , fo as to frighten them and awake me< my 
maftiffs had been filenced with their venifon. At laft, the leader went 
a-head with the beloved ark, and pretending to be directed by the di 
vine oracle, to watch another principal trader's houfe, they accordingly 
made for it, when a young woman, having occafion to go out of the houfe, 
was mot with a bullet that entered behind one of her breads and through 
the other, ranging the bone ; Hie fuddenly wheeled round, and tumbled 
down, within the threfhold of the houfe the brave trader inftantly bounded 
up, founding the war whoop, and in a moment grafped his gun, (for the 
traders beds are always hung round with various arms of defence) and rei- 
cued her the Indian phyfician alfo, by his fkill in fimples, foon. cured her. 

As fo much halh been already faid of the Chikkafah, . in the ac 
counts of the Cheerake, Mufkohge, and Choktah, with whofe hiflory, 
theirs was necefiarily interwoven, my brevity here, . I hope will be excufed. 
The Chikkafah live in as happy a region, as any under the fun. It is 
temperate ; as cool in fummer, as can be wifhed, and but moderately cold 
in winter, There is froft enough to purify the air, but not to chill the 
blood; and the fnow does not lie four-and-twenty hours together; This 
extraordinary benefit, is not from its fituation to the equator, for the 
Cheerake country, among the Apalahche mountains is colder, in a furprifing 
degree ; but from the nature and levelnels of the extenfive circumjacent 
lands, which in general are very fertile,. They have no running dream in 


358 <dn -Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 

their prefent fettlement. In their old 'fields, they have banks of oyfter- 
ihells, at the diftance of four hundred miles from the fea-more ; which is a 
vifible token of a general deluge, when it fwept away the loofe earth from 
the mountains, by the force of a tempeftuous north-eaft wind, and thus 
produced the fertile lands of the Mifiifippi, which probably was fea, before 
that dreadful event. 

As the Chikkafah fought the French and their red allies, with the utmoft 
firmnefs, in defence of their liberties and lands, to the very laft, without 
regarding their decay, only as an incentive to revenge their loiTes ; equity 
and gratitude ought to induce us to be kind to our fteady old friends, 
and only purchafe fo much of their land, as they would difpofe of, for 
value. With proper management, they would prove extremely ferviceable 
to a Britifh colony, on the Mifiifippi. I hope no future mifconduft will 
alienate their affections, after the manner of the fuper-intendant's late de 
puty, which hath been already mentioned. The fkilful French could never 
confide in the Choktah, and we may depend on being forced to hold hot 
difputes with them, in the infant ftate of the Miffifippi fettlements : it is 
wifdom to provide againft the word events that can be reafonably expected 
to happen. The remote inhabitants of our northern colonies are well ac 
quainted with the great value of thofe lands, from their obfervations on 
the fpot. The foil and climate are fit for hemp, filk, indigo, wine, and 
many other valuable productions, which our merchants purchafe from fo 
reigners, fometimes at a considerable difadvantage The range is fo good for 
horfes, cattle, and hogs, that they would grow large, and multiply faft, 
without the lead occafion of feeding them in winter, or at leaft for a long 
fpace of time, by reafon of the numberlefs branches of reeds and canes 
that are interfperfed, with nuts of various kinds. Rice, wheat, oats, bar 
ley, Indian corn, fruit-trees, and kitchen plants, would grow to admiration. 
As the ancients tell us, " Bacchus amat montes," fo grape-vines muft thrive 
extremely well on the hills of the Miffifippi, for they are fo rich as to pro 
duce winter-canes, contrary to what is known at any diftance to the north 
ward. If Britifh fubjecls could fettle Weft-Florida in fecurity, it would in 
& few years become very valuable to Great-Britain : and they would foon 
have as much profit, as they could defire, to reward their labour. Here, 
five hundred families would in all probability, be more beneficial to our mo 
ther-country, than the whole colony of North Carolina : befides innumerable 
.-branches toward Ohio and Monongahela. 


An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 359 

Enemies to the public good, may enter caveats againft our fettling 
where the navigation is precarious; and the extraordinary kindnefs of 
the late miniftry to the French and Spaniards prevented our having an 
exclusive navigation on the Mifiifippi. Abervillc might (till become 
a valuable mart to us; and from New Orleans it is only three miles 
to Saint John's Creek, where people pafs through the lake of Saint 
Louis, and embark for Mobille and Perrfacola. The Spaniards have 
wifely taken the advantage of our mifconducl:, by fortifying Lotii^ 
fiana, and employing the French to conciliate the affections of the fa- 
vages ; while our legiflators, fermented with the corrupt lees of falfe 
power, are driving to whip us with fcorpions. As all the Florida In* 
dians are grown jealous of us, fince we fettled E. and W. Florida, and 
are unacquainted with the great power of the Spaniards in South America^ 
and have the French to polifh their rough Indian politics, Louifiana is 
likely to prove more beneficial to them, than it did to the French. They 
are fortifying their Mifiifippi fetdements like a New Flanders, and their 
French artifts, on account of our minifterial lethargy, will have a good op- 1 
portunity, if an European war mould commence, to continue our valuable 
weftern barriers as wild and wafte, as the French left them. The warlike 
Chikkafah proved fo formidable to them, that^ except a fmall fettlement 
above New Orleans, which was covered by- the Choktah bounds^ 
they did not attempt to make any other on theeaftern fide of the Mifiifippi, 
below the Illinois; though it contains fuch a vaft traft of fine land, as 
would be fufficient for four colonies of two hundred and fifty miles fquare. 
Had they been able by their united efforts, to have deftroyed the Chik 
kafah, they would not have been idle; for, in that cafe, the Choktah' 
would have been fo'on fwallOwed up, by the afiiftance of their other allies, 
as they never fupplied them with arms and ammunition,- except thofe wha 
went to war againft the Chikkafah. 

From North-Carolina to the Mifllfippi, the land near the fea, is, in- ge 
neral, low and fandy ; and it is very much fo in the two colonies of Flo 
rida, to a confiderable extent from the lea-more, when -the lands appear' 
fertile, level, and diverfified with hills. Trees indicate the goodnefs' or* 
badnds of land. Pine-trees grow on fandy, barren ground, which prcn 
du.ces long coarfe grafs ; .the adjacent low lands abound with. canes, .reeds,. 

3 ori 

360 -n Account: of the Chikkafah 'Nation. 

or bay and laurel of various forts, which are {haded with large expand 
ing trees they compofe an evergreen thicket, moftly impenetrable 
to the beams of the fun, where the horfes, deer, and cattle, chiefly feed 
during the winter : and the panthers, bears, wolves, wild cats, and foxes, 
refort there, both for the fake of prey, and a cover from the hunters. 
Lands of a loofe black foil, fuch as thofe of the Miffifippi, are covered with 
fine grafs and herbage, and well (haded with large and high trees of hic- 
cory, am, white, red, and black oaks, great towering poplars, black 
walnut-trees, faflafras, and vines. The low wet lands adjoining the rivers, 
chiefly yield cyprefs-trees, which are very large, and of a prodigious height. 
On the dry grounds is plenty of beach, maple, holly, the cotton-tree, with 
a prodigious variety of other forts. But we mud not omit the black mul 
berry-tree, which, likewife, is plenty. It is high, and, if it had proper air 
and fun-fhine, the boughs would be very fpreading. On the fruit, the bears 
and wild fowl feed during their feafon; and alfo fwarms of paroquets, 
enough to deafen one with their chattering, in the time of thofe joyful 
repafts. I believe the white mulberry-tree does not grow fpontaneouQy in 
North-America, On the hills, there is plenty of chefnut-trees, and chef- 
nut-oaks. Thefe yield the largeft fort of acorns, but wet weather foon 
fpoils them. In winter, the deer and bears fatten themfelves on various 
kinds of nuts, which lie thick over the rich land, if the bloflbms have 
not been blafted by the north-eaft winds. The wild turkeys live on the 
fmall red acorns, and grow fo fat in March, that they cannot fly farther 
than three or four hundred yards -, and not being able foon to take the 
wing again, we fpeedily run them down with our, horfes and hunting maf- 
tiffs. At many unfrequented places of the Miflifippi, they are fo tame as 
to be (hot with a piftol, of which our troops profited, in their way to take 
poflfefiion of the Illinois-garrifon. There is a plenty of wild parfley, on 
the banks of that river, the roots of which are as large as thofe of par- 
fnips, and it is as good as the other fort. The Indians fay, they have not 
feen it grow in any woods remote from their country. They have a large 
fort of plums, which their anceftors brought with them from South- Ame 
rica, and which are now become plenty among our colonies, called Chik 
kafah plums. 

To the North Weil, the Miflifippi lands are covered with filberts, 

-which are as fweet, and thin-fhelled, as the fcaly bark hiccory-nuts, 

3 /? ^ Hazel- 


An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 361 

Hazel-nuts are very plenty, but the Indians feldom eat them. Black 
haws grow here in clufters, free from prickles: and pifllmmons, of 
which they make very pleafant bread, barbicuing it in the woods. There 
is a fort of fine plums in a few places, large, and well-tafted ; and, if 
tranfplanted, they would become better. The honey-loctifts are pods 
about a fpan-long, and almoft two inches broad, containing a row of large 
feed on one fide, and a tough fweet fubftance the other. The tree is 
large, and full of long thorns j which forces the wild beafts to wait till they 
fall off, before they can gather that part of their harveft. The trees grow 
in wet four land, and are plenty, and the timber is very durable. Where 
there is no pitch-pine, the Indians ufe this, or the fafiafras, for potts 
to their houfes , as they lad for generations, and the worms never take 
them. Chinquapins are very plenty, of the tafte of chefnuts, but much lefs 
in fize. There are feveral forts of very wholefome and pleafant-tafted ground 
nuts, which few of our colonifts know any thing of. In wet land, there 
is an aromatic red fpice, and a fort of cinnamon, which the natives feldom 
ufe. The Yopon, or CufTeena, is very plenty, as far as the fait air 
reaches over the low lands. It is well tailed, and very agreeable to thofe 
who accudom themielves to ufe it : inftead of having any noxious quality, 
according to what many have experienced of the Eaft-India infipid and 
coftly tea, it is friendly to the human fyflem, enters into a conteft 
with the peccant humours, and expels them through the various channels 
of nature : it perfectly cures a tremor in the nerves. The North-American 
tea has a pleafant aromatic tafte, and the very fame falubrious property, as 
the CufTeena. . It is an evergreen, and grows on hills. The bumes are 
about a foot high, each of them containing in winter a fmall aroma 
tic red berry, in the middle of the ftalk : fuch I faw it about Chriftmas, 
when hunting among the mountains, oppofite to the lower Mohawk 
Caftle, in the time of a deep fnow. There is no vifible decay of the 
leaf, and October feems to be the proper time to gather it. The early 
buds of faffafras, and the leaves of ginfeng, make a mod excellent tea, 
equally pkalant to the tafte, and conducive to health. The Chinefe 
have fenfe enough to fell their enervating and flow-poifoning teas, under 
various fine 'titles, while they themfelves prefer Ginfeng-leaves. Each of 
our colonies abounds with ginfeng, among the "trills that lie far from the 
fea. Ninety-fix fettlement, is the lowed place where I have feen it grow in 
South Carolina. It is very plenty on the fertile parts of the Cheerake 

A a a mountains , 

362 An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 

mountains ; it refemblcs Angelica, which in moft places is alfo plenty. 
Its leaves are of a darker green, and about a foot and half from the root; 
the ftalk fends out three equal branches, in the center of which a fmall 
berry grows, of a red colour, in Auguft. The feeds are a very ftrong 
and agreeable aromatic : it is plenty in Weft-Florida. The Indians ufe it 
on religious occafions. It is a great lofs to a valuable branch of trade, 
that our people neither gather it in a proper feafon, nor can cure it, fo as 
to give it a clear ftjining colour, like the Chinefe tea. I prefume it does 
not turn out well to our American traders ; for, up the Mohawk river, a 
gentleman who had purchafed a large quantity of ir, told me that a fkippel, 
or three bufhels, coft him only nine millings of New York currency : and 
in Charles-Town, an inhabitant of the upper Yadkin fettlements in North 
Carolina, who came down with me from viewing the Nahchee old fields 
on the Miflifippi, allured me he could not get from any of the South 
Carolina merchants, one milling fterling a pound for it, though his peo 
ple brought it from the Alehgany, and Apalahche mountains, two hundred 
miles to Charles-Town. 

It would be a fervice, worthy of a public-fpirited gentleman, to inform 
us how to preferve the Ginfeng, fo as to give it a proper colour ; for could 
we once effect that, it muft become a valuable branch of trade. It is an 
exceeding good ftomachic, and greatly fupports nature againft hunger and 
thirft. It is likewife beneficial againft afthmatic complaints, and it may 
be faid to promote fertility in women, as much as the Eaft-India tea 
caufes fterility in proportion to the baneful ufe that is made of it. A 
learned phyfician and botanift aflured me, that the eaftern teas are flow, but 
fure poifon, in our American climates , and that he generally ufed the Gin 
feng very fuccefsfully in clyfters, to thofe who had deftroyed their health, by 
that dangerous habit. I advifed my friend to write a treatife on its me 
dical virtues, in the pofterior application, as it muft redound much to 
the public good. He told me, it would be needlefs ; for quacks could 
gain nothing from the beft directions , and that already feveral of his ac 
quaintance of the faculty moftly purfued his practice in curing their 
patients. The eaftern tea is as much inferior to our American teas, in its 
nouriming quality, as their album graecum is to our pure venifon, from 
which we here fometimes colled it-, let us, therefore, like frugal and 
wife people, ufe our own valuable aromatic tea, and thus induce our Bri- 


An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 363 

tifh brethren to imitate our pleafant and healthy regimen-, (hewing the 
ntmoft indifference to any duties the ftatefmen of Great-Britain, in their 
aflumed prerogative, may think proper to lay on their Eaft-India poifon- 
ing, and dear-bought teas. 

The induftry of the uncorrupt part of the Indians, in general, and of the 
Chikkafah, in particular, extends no farther than to fupport a plain fimple life, 
and fecure themfelves from the power of the enemy, and from hunger and 
cold. Indeed mod of them are of late grown fond of the ornaments of life, of 
raifing live flock, and ufing a greater induftry than formerly, to increafe 
wealth. This is to be afcribed to their long intercourfe with us, and the fami 
liar eafy way in which our traders live with them, begetting imperceptibly 
an emulous fpirit of imitation, according to the ufual progrefs of human 
life. Such a difpofition, is a great advance towards their being civilized ; 
which, certainly muft be effected, before we can reafonably expect to be 
able to bring them to the true principles of chriftianity. Inftead of re 
forming the Indians, the monks and friars corrupted their morals : for, 
in the place of inculcating love, peace, and good-will to their red pupils, 
as became meflengers of the divine author of peace, they only imprefled 
their flexible minds with an implacable hatred againft every Britifh fub- 
ject, without any diftinction. Our people will foon difcover the bad po 
licy of the late Quebec act, and it is to be hoped that Great-Britain 
will in due time, fend thofe black croaking clerical frogs of Canada home 
to their infallible mufti of Rome. 

I muft here beg leave to be indulged, in a few obfervations on our own 
American miffionaries. Many evils are produced by fending out ignorant 
and wicked perfons as clergymen. Of the few I know, two among them 
dare not venture on repeating but a few collects in the common prayer. 
A heathen could lay, " if thou wouldft have me weep, thou muft firft 
weep thyfelf :" and how is it poflible we mould be able to make good im- 
preflions on others, unlefs they are firft vifible on ourfelves ? The very 
rudiments of learning, not to fay of religion, are wanting in feveral of our 
miflionary Evangelifts , the beft apology I have heard in their behalf, is, " an 
Englim nobleman afked a certain bifhop, why he conferred holy orders on 
fuch a parcel of arrant blockheads ? He replied, becaufe it was better to 
have the ground plowed by afies, than leave it a wafte full of thiftles." 

A a a 2 It 

364 An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 

It feems very furprifing, that thofe who are invefted with a power of 
conferring ecclefiaftical orders, fhould be To carelefs in propagating the holy 
gofpel, and afllduous to prophane holy things, in appointing and ordaining 
illiterate and irreligious peribns to the fervice. What is it ? but faying, 
" go teach the American fools. My blefiing is enough. Cherifh con 
fidence, and depend upon it, they will not have confidence to laugh at you : 
Leave the remote and poor fettlements to the care of divine providence, 
which is difTtifive of its rich gifts. The harveft is great elfewhere. Only 
endeavour to epifcopize the northern colonies ; it is enough : there they 
are numerous, and able to pay Peter's pence, as well as our old jewifh, and 
new parliamentary tithes , and in time your labours will be crowned with 

That court however, which fends abroad ftupid embafladors to reprefent 
it, cannot be reafonably expected to have fuccefs, but rather mame and de- 
rifion. What can we think at this diflance, when we fee the number of 
blind guides, our fpiritual fathers at home have fent to us, to lead us clear of 
the mazes of error ? but, that they think of us with indifference, and are 
ftudioufly bent on their own temporal intereft, inftead of our fpiritual 
welfare. There are thoufands of the Americans, who I believe have not 
heard fix fermons for the fpace of above thirty years and in fact they 
have more knowledge than the teachers who are fent to them, and too 
much religion to communicate with them. And even the blinder fort of 
the laity not finding truth fufficiently fupported by their purblind guides, 
grow proud of their own imaginary knowledge, and fome thereby proudly 
commence teachers, by which means they rend the church afunder; and, 
inftead of peace and love, they plant envy, contempt, hatred, revilings, 
and produce the works of the flefh, inftead of thofe of the fpirit. 

Not fo act the uncivilized Indians. Their fuppofed holy orders are ob 
tained from a clofe attention to, and approved knowledge of their facred 
"myfteries. No temptations can corrupt their virtue on that head :. neither 
will they convey their divine fecrets to the known impure. This conduct 
is worthy to be copied, by all who pretend to any religion at all, and efpe- 
cially by thofe who are honoured with the pontifical dignity, and affume the 
name of " Right reverend, and Mod reverend Fathers in God." I have 
been importunately requefted at different times, by, feveral eminent gentle- 


An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 365 

men, who wifh well to both church and ftate, to rcprefent the evils refulting 
from fuch miffionaries, in hope of redrefs ; and on this occafion, I thought 
it criminal to refufe their virtuous requeft. The reprefentation is true, and 
the writer is perfuaded he cannot give the leaft offence by it, to any but 
the guilty. 

My fituation does not allow me, to fix the bounds our legiflators claim 
on the Miffifippi : but I have good reafon to believe t!iat the fine court 
title which France, in her late dying will, has transferred to Great- 
Britain, moftly confifts in ideal pofiefilons fhe never enjoyed. The 
monopolies already made, are equally unjuft and pernicious. They, who 
take up valuable lands, efpecially on fuch a barrier, ought to fettle them in 
a reafonable time, or be prevented from keeping out induftrious inhabi 
tants, and caufmg the place to continue in a defencekfs condition. Before 
we can fettle the Miffifippi, with any reafonable view of fuccefs, the go 
vernment muft build fufficient places of ftrength, both to make the co 
lony appear refpeclable in the eyes of the Indians, and guard it from the 
evil eye of the Spaniards, who are watching at New Orleans, and over 
the river, to impede our interefts, in that valuable but dangerous quarter, 
It might become an impenetrable barrier, if proper encouragement was 
given to the laborious and hardy inhabitants of our northern fettlements, 
on the various branches of the Ohio, and in the back fettlements of North 
Carolina, who are now almoft ufelefs to the community. As Great-Britain 
would be the chief gainer by their removal, (he ought to encourage them 
to remove. Great numbers of them were preparing to come down, even 
in the years 1768 and 1769 j but finding too many inconveniencies and 
hazards in their way, they declined the attempt. As it is natural for every 
colony to endeavour to increafe its number of induftrious inhabitants, it 
cannot be expected, even if the mother country behaved more prudently 
than of late, that any of them would exert themfelves much on fuch an oc- 
cafion, as to raife dangerous rivals in their own ftaple commodity However 
rice, indigo, filk, hemp, wine, and many other valuable productions are fuit- 
able to fo fine a foil and climate j befides great quantities of beef, pork, and 
every kind of ufeful timber for Jamaica, which is contiguous to the mouth 
of the Miffifippi. So great an acquifition of raw materials would foon 
prove very beneficial to Great-Britain, as well as a great fafe-guard to the 
beft part of our other colonies, and a very needful check to Spanifh info- 
5 lence,. 

2 66 An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 

ience. Such a material undertaking, as the colonizing of fo important a 
barrier, deferves public encouragement to put it in a fair way of doing 
we-11', and the continuance of a fupply, and protection through its infant 
ftate, to fecure it from any artful attempts the Spaniards and their French 
fubjects might plot to difturb its tranquility, and thereby check its 

There might be introduced even among the Indian nations I have de- 
fcribed, a fpirit of induftry, in cultivating fuch productions as would agree 
with their land and climates ; efpecially, if the fuper-intendency of our In 
dian affairs, weftward, was conferred on the fenfible, public-fpirited, and 
judicious Mr. George Galphin, merchant, or Lachlan M'Gilwray, Efq; of 
equal merit. Every Indian trader knows from long experience, that both 
thefe gentlemen have a greater influence over the dangerous Mufkohge, 
than any others befides. And the fecurity of Georgia requires one or other 
of them fpeedily to fuperintend our Indian affairs. It was, chiefly, the 
fkilful management of thefe worthy patriots, which prevented the Mufkohge 
from joining theCheerake, according to treaty, againft us in the years 1760 
and 1761, to their great expence and hazard of life, as they allowed thofe 
favages to eat, drink; and deep at Silver-Bluff, below New Windfor gar- 
rifon, and at Augufta fifteen miles apart, and about 150 miles from Savanah. 
I write from my own knowledge, for I was then on the fpot, with a captain's 
commiflion from South Carolina. A Mufkohge war againft us, could 
cafily be prevented by either of thofe gentlemen, if chofen, and the de- 
ftructive plan of general licences was repealed. It is to be hoped, that they 
who are inverted with the power, will retract their former error, and 
have the pleafure of knowing the good effect it would produce, by giving an 
opportunity of civilizing and reforming the favages ; which can never be 
effected by the former ufual means. Admit into Indian countries, a fufEcient 
number of difcreet orderly traders. This needful regulation will likewife 
benefit trade, which is almoft ruined ; and our valuable weak frontier colo 
nies would thereby increafe in numbers, proportionable to their fecurity. 

Formerly, each trader had a licence for two towns, or villages ; but ac 
cording to the prefent unwife plan, two, and even three Arab-like pedlars 
fculk about in one of thofe villages. Several of them alfo frequently 
emigrate into the woods with fpirituous liquors, and cheating trifles, 
5 after 

An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 367 

after the Indian hunting camps, in the winter feafon, to the great injury of 
a regular trader, who fupplies them with all the conveniencies of hunting : 
for, as they will fell even their wearing fhirt for inebriating liquors, they 
muft be fupplied anew in the fall of the year, by the trader. At my firft 
fetting out among them, a number of traders who lived contiguous to each 
other, joined through our various nations in different companies, and were 
generally men of worth : of courfe, they would have a living price for their 
goods, which they carried on horfeback to the remote Indian countries, at 
very great expences. Thefe fet an honed copy for the imitation of the na 
tives, for as they had much at ftake, their own interefl and that of the go 
vernment co-incided. As the trade was in this wife manner kept up to its 
juft ftandard, the favages were induftrious and frugal. But, lowering ir, 
through a miftaken notion of regaining their affections, we made ourfelves 
too cheap to them, and they defpifed us for it. The trade ought to be 
raifed to a reafonable fixed price, the firft convenient opportunity thus 
we mall keep them employed, and ourfelves fecure. Should we lower the 
trade, even fifty per cent below the prime coft, they would become only 
the more difcontented, by thinking we had cheated them all the years paft. 
A mean fubmiflive temper can never manage our Indian affairs. The 
qualities of a kind friend, fenfible fpeaker, and active brifk warrior, mull 
conftitute the character of a fuperintendant. Great care ought to be taken, 
not to give the Indians offence, or a mean opinion of the people or govern 
ment our Indian fuperintenclants reprefent. 

At a general congrefs in Mobille, Anno 1765, where were prefent his 
Excellency the learned, cheerful, patriotic Governor of Weft-Florida, 
George Johnftone Efquire, the prefent fuperintendant of Indian affairs, 
and the head-men and warriors of the Choktah, and warlike Chikkafah 
nations, a tariff of trade was fettled on every material article, in the moft 
public and folemn manner, moftly according to the Mufkohge ftandard, and 
to the great fatisfaction of the Indians. The price for which the corrupt 
and ihamefully- indulged vagrant pedlars forced the traders at the rifque 
of their lives, to traffic with them, being then about 70 per cent, below 
the French tariff in Indian trade up the Miffifippi. Each of thefe tra 
ders took out Indian trading licences, to which the fixed prices of vari- 
6us goods were annext, thereby impowering them to traffic during the l 
fpace of a twelvemonth ; and they gave penal bonds of fecurity to the 


368 An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 

fecretrary, for the juft obfervance of their inftructions. This proved how-, through a bare-faced partiality, only a ihamefnl farce on ceconomy 
and good order. His Excellency, and the honourable Col. W n, were 
fo ftrongly convinced of my former integrity, that in order to teftify pub 
licly their approbation of my good conduct, they did me the honour 
to pafs fecurity in the fecretary's office, for my dealing with the Indians 
in ftrict conformity to the laws of trade. As I loft in the fpace of a 
year, to the amount of two and twenty hundred dollars-worth of goods at 
prime coft, by the diforderly conduct of other licenfed traders, and had juft 
reafon to hope for redrefs on exhibiting a weli-fupported complaint ; I 
drew up on my own account, and at the importunate requeft of the Chik 
kafah head-men, a memorial, fetting forth their having notoriouily violated 
every effential part of their inftructions, enticing the Indians alfo to get 
drunk, and then taught them to blafpheme their maker. This I proved, 
and that fome of the lawlefs traders had furnimed the Indians, in the 
fpace of a few months, with fo great a quantity of prohibited liquors, 
as either did, or might enable fome of them to decoy the favages to fquan- 
der away thoufands of dreft deer-fkins, but they efcaped with impu 

A few months before this period, fome family difputes rofe very high 
between the Chikkafah, on the following account. The Indians being 
ambitious, free, and jealous of their liberties, as well as independent of 
each other, where mutual confent is not obtained , one half of the nation 
were exceedingly difpleafed with the other, becaufe, by the reiterated per- 
fuafions of a certain deputy, the latter had difpofed of a tract of land, 
twelve miles toward the fouth, on the upper trading Choktah, or Mo- 
bille path, to one of thofe diforderly traders. By the application of tfye 
deputy, the head-men of both parties met him according to appointment, 
and partook of a plentiful barbicued feaft, with plenty of fpirituous li 
quors. As fuch conduct was againft his majefty's proclamation, and ap 
peared to me to be calculated, either for a clandestine trade, or family-job, 
I rejected the invitation, left otherwile I might be charged as a party. 
When they became intoxicated with liquor, a war-leader of the difTenting 
party, (truck his tomohawk at the head of a noted chieftain, upbraid 
ing him for bringing a ftrange fire into their land ; but happily the blow 
miffed its aim. Their difputes confequently rofe higher every day j and the 


An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 369 

diflidents informed the Mufkohge of their then fituation, and future inten 
tions. Tah-Tah-'fufianage^ " the Great Mortar," a bitter enemy of the 
Englifh, foon lent up a company of his war-relations, to perfuade them to 
guard in time, againft our dangerous encroachments, by killing all the 
Englifh, that planted their lands without the general confent of the owner*;,, 
and to take their black people as a good prize j becaufe they were building 
and planting for the reception of an Englifh garrifon, which was to come 
from the Miffifippi, and be the firft means of enflaving them. While 
their tranfport of madnefs laded, it was fruitlefs to reafon with them \ but 
at every convenient opportunity, I ufed fuch plain, friendly, and perfuafive 
arguments to footh them, as I imagined might regain their loft affec 
tions, and procraltinate the dangerous impending blow* They confented 
at laft to forbear every kind of refentment againft our late fufpicious con 
duct, on condition of my writing to thofe who could redrefs them, and our 
people fpeedily withdrawing from their land the intruding planters. This- 
I did ; and at Mobille I delivered my remonftrance to the fuperintendanu 
Upon my urging the abfolute neceffity of pacifying our old fteady friends, 
by removing the ungenerous caufe of their jealoufy, he aflured me, that he 
would gladly comply with fojuft a requeft, efpecially, as it exactly coin 
cided with his majefty's proclamation, then fixed on the fort-gate. 

In the fpace of about ten days after, by order of Governor Johnftone, all 
the Chikkafah and Choktah traders were cited to appear before him and 
the fuperintendant, in order to know the merit of, and anfwer to, my nu 
merous complaints. When they appeared, and every thing was properly: 
adjufted, his fecretary read paragraph by paragraph, and his excellency, 
very minutely examined all the reputable traders, who confirmed to his fulL 
fatisfaction, the truth of every thing in my complaint. But tho* the memo 
rial fet forth, among other inftances, that " but a few minutes after I had" 
once a troublefome difpute with the abovementioned Chikkafah leader, on 
account of the traders prohibited and poifoning liquors, he went home dif- 
tradted, and finding none but his aged mother, he would have killed her 
with his tomohawk, only for her earneft entreaties, and then fudden. 
efcape," yet none of thofe diforderly people were either fufpended from, 
trading with the Indians, or forfeited the penalty of their bonds- neither 
wrs. the Indians requeft complied with. Though, I believe, the termination 
v, r as to the no fmall mortification of his excellency. 

B b b Anna 

370 An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 

Anno 1767, the fuper-intendant's deputy convened all the Chikkafah 
traders and head-men of the nation, declaring that he had received pofitivc 
orders from the fuperior over Indian affairs, to bring the trade to the late 
ilandard of the Mufkohge. The head-men replied, that if their traders, 
or the fuper-intendant acted unwifely, they were not bound to follow the 
copy. We urged, that he had already exceedingly lowered the Mifli- 
fippi-Indian trade, and had, at the Mobille congrefs, fixed a Tariff, a copy 
of which every one of us had, as well as a regular licence, having given 
approved fecurity for our peaceable conduct, and fair dealing with the 
Indians, for the fpace of a year: and that befides the wrong policy of fuch 
an edict, as he now propofed, if we proved rogues to our own interefl 
with them, we ought to be arrefted as fools below. We concluded, by 
obferving the great difadvantage of navigation that Mobille lay under, to 
which Charles-town was no way expofed in imports and exports ; and that if 
the aforefaid Indian trade mould, by any act be reduced below its prefent 
ftandard, it muft necefiarily ceafe of itfelf, unlefs as free-men, we faid No 
to the command. Which the traders did, and refolved to fupport it. 

The deputies treatment of Capt. J. C 1 b rt, who has lived among 
the Chikkafah from his childhood, and fpeaks their language even 
with more propriety than the Englifh, deferves to be recorded but I 
hope the gentleman will foon do it himfelf, to (hew the higher powers the 
confequences of appointing improper, mercenary, and haughty perfons to 
fuch offices. Sir William J.ohnfon acted very differently he was kind, 
intelligent, intrepid he knew when to frown and when to fmile on the In 
dian nations he was connected with, and blended the ferpent with the dove.- 
He chofe his deputies or reprefentatives in the Indian countries, according 
to their qualifications in the Indian life ; and not unfkilful men, and mere 
ftrangers, like fome who have been obtruded into our fouthern nations. His 
prudent and brave deputy CoL Craghan, did our chain of colonies more real 
fervice in a few months, than all our late fouthern commhTioners of Indian af 
fairs could poffibly have done in ages. In the dangerous time of our fettling 
the Illinois -garrifon, 500 leagues up the Miffifippi, he went from Johnfon's 
Hall, in the lower part of the Mohawk country, and from thence conrfed 
through the various nations of Indians, to the head-branches of Canada ; 
and in like manner, down thofe of the Mifiifippi, to the garrifon, amidft 
the greateft dangers ; pleaiing and reconciling the favages as he proceeded. 


An Account of t&e Chikkafah Nation. 371 

The Chikkafah firfl informed me of his journey and fuccefs and I had it 
fome time after, circumftantially confirmed to me by Sir W. Johnfon. 
When I fpoke to the Col. himfelf on his fatigues and perils,, he modeftly 
replied " that while he was performing the needful duties of his office, and' 
acting the part of a beloved man with the fwan's wing, white pipe, and 
white beads, for the general good of his country, and of its red neighbours, 
he had no leifure to think of any perfonal dangers that might befall a well- 
meaning peace-maker." Having reconciled the Kufkuike Indians, whom 
the French garrifon had decoyed by their falfe painting of us, to remove 
with them over the Miffifippi, he from thence proceeded down by water to> 
New Orleans ; afterwards, along the gulph-flream of Mexico,, to the place 
from whence he fet off, amounting nearly to 5000 miles,, in the oblique- 
courfe he was forced to take. 

In brief, able fuperintendants of Indian affairs, and who will often vifit 
the Indians, are the fafeft and flrongeft barrier garrifons of our colonies and- 
a proper number of prudent honeft traders difperfed among the favages would 
be better than all the foldiers, which the colonies fupport for their defence 
againft them. The Indians are to be perfuaded by friendly, language ; but 
nothing will terrify them to fubmit to what oppofes their general idea of 
liberty. In the difputes between governors, fuperintendants, their depu 
ties, and the traders, care mould be taken to keep them very fecret from 
the Indians, for they love fuch traders as are governed by principle., 
and are eafily influenced by them. Several agents of governors and fuper 
intendants have experienced this, when difpatched into their countries to 
feize either the goods or perfons of one and another trader, who was ob 
noxious by not putting the neck under their lordly feet. Some have hardly 
efcaped from being tomohawked and cut to pieces on the fpot by the en 
raged Indians,, for the violence offered to their friendly traders.^ When an 
Indian and trader contract friendfhip, they exchange the clothes then upon 
them,, and afterwards they cherifh it by mutual prefents,. and in general, 
will maintain it to the death. As early as 1736 the Georgia governor began 
to harrafs the licenfed traders, and fent a commiffioner to feize the goods of 
feveral Carolinian traders : in executing his commiffion, he was foon en 
circled by twenty-three Indians,, and would have been inftantly difpatched, 
but for the intercefilon of one of the fuffering traders, Mr. J. G- r o 
Tennafe. When a governor of any of our colonies,, is either weak in his 

B b b 2 i 

372 An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 

intellects, or has felf-interefted purfuits in view, incompatible with the pub 
lic good, he will firft opprefs the Indian traders, and mifreprefent all under 
his government who oppofe him ; and then adopt and purfne the low and 
tyrannical court maxim " divide, and you will fubdue and rule them.*"" 
Whether the animofities that fubfifted among the inhabitants of Georgia, 
when Mr. Ellis went to prefide there, fprung from any fuch caufe, I will' 
not fay, but I well know that by his wifdom, cheerful and even temper, and 
an eafy winning behaviour, he foon reconciled the contending parties in his 
gay and friendly hall. 

The grateful and polite in that colony, have taught their rifing families 
to revere his name, on account of his generous and patriotic fpirit. Hein- 
ftructed the inhabitants of that infant colony, by example, how to fortify 
.themfelves againft hoftile dangers. The people were few, weak, harrafied, 
and 'difheartened : but as foon as the father and general put to his helping 
hand, their drooping fpirits recovered. Then, defentible garrifons fprung 
up, after the manner of ancient Thebes , but as he knew that peace with the 
numerous nations of neighbouring Indians- was effential to the welfare of a 
trading colony, he acted the part of the Archimagus, or great beloved 
man, with the fwan's wing, white pipes, and tobacco, between the mif- 
chievous Mufkohge and our colonies, at Savanah, in concert with the 
two worthy gentlemen before-mentioned. At that time our Indian affairs 
in general wore a moft dangerous afpect and the public (lock was ex 
pended: when the governor faw that he could not fhake hands with the 
Indians, empty handed, he cheerfully fupplied their difcontented head-men 
with his own effects, and even his domeftic utenfils. They fet a high value 
on each gift, chit-fly for the fake of the giver, whom they adopted as 
brother, friend, father. He gave the colony a ftrong example of public 
fpirit, by facrifking his eafe, and private intereft, to the welfare of the 
people , whom he faithfully patronized (during his too fliort ftay) according 
to the paternal intentions of his late Majefty. He was never ordered by his 
Prince to inform the legiflative body of the colony, that, if the electors peti 
tioned his majefty for the liberty of chufing reprefentatives, he, through his 
own grace and goodirefs, would order his governor to inform them hewaspleafed 
to indulge them in the object of their fubmiffive prayer. But had it been other- 
wife, Mr. Ellis would have deemed fuch a minifterial order, a grofs attack 
upon his honour, if not on the conilitutional rights of Britifh fubjofb, and 
3 have 

An Account of the Chikkafah Nation. 373 

have rejected it with contempt. When a gentleman of abilities employs his 
talents, in his proper fphere, in promoting the general good of fociety (in- 
ftead of forwarding only his own intereft) he is both an honour and a blef- 
fing to the community : the grateful public always revere fuch a character, 
and fail not to hand it down to the lateft pofterity, to ftimulate others to fol 
low the example. Such was Mr. Ellis in Georgia ; and fuch was the learned, 
wife, polite, affable, and now much lamented Sir Henry Moore Bart, the late 
governor of New-York colony. His virtues fo ftrongly endeared him to thofe 
he governed, and to every one who had the pleafure of his acquaintance, that 
his memory will never be forgotten. He came to his government at the moft 
confufed time America ever knew. He found the lenior member of the 
council ftrongly barricaded in the fort, but prefently he ordered away the 
cannon, and put a ftop to other hoftile preparations. He converfed with 
the people as a father. They were foon convinced of his upright inten 
tions, and he lived triumphant in their hearts. If ftric~t integrity, great 
abilities, and the moft ardent defires and endeavours to promote the mu 
tual interefts of prince and people, if the moft impartial adminiftration 
of juftice to every denomination of faithful fubjects if indefatigable 
application to public bufmefs, and a cheerful nefs to redrefs every grie 
vance that had the leaft tendency to affect the lives or property even 
of the meaneft perfon : if thefe be the characteristics of one of the beft 
of governors, our hearts feelingly teftify, and the tears of a grate 
ful people plainly mewed, he enjoyed them in the moft eminent degree. 
His ftay, however, among them was but ihort, for having given a finifhed 
copy for others to purfue, heaven called him home to reward him for his 
fhining virtues : and, though the other worthy patriot is in being, yet the 
honeft fons of Georgia deeply lament his being loft to them. 




O N T H E 


IN the following pages, the reader will find as great a variety of enter 
tainment, as can well be expected in defcribing a rude and uncivilized 
people. The Indians having for a long time no intercourfe with the reft of 
the world, and feldom one nation of them with another, their rites and 
cuftoms are in feveral refpe&s different. But as they agree in efientials 
through the whole extent of the American world, fuch agreement is ap 
parently owing to tradition, and the ufage of their anceftors, ^before 
they were fubdivided as at prefent. Uniformity cannot be attributed to 

Through the whole continent, and in the remoteft woods, are traces of 
their ancient warlike difpofition. We frequently met with great mounds of 
earth, either of a circular, or oblong form, having a ftrong breaft-work at a 
diftance around them, made of the clay which had been dug up in forming 
the ditch, on the inner fide of the inclofed ground, and thefe were their 
forts of fecurity againft an enemy. Three or four of them, are in fome 
places raifed fo near to each other, as evidently for the garrifon to take any 
enemy that patted between them. They were moftly built in low lands ; 

C c c and 



O N T H E 


IN the following pages, the reader will find as great a variety of enter 
tainment, as can well be expected in defcribing a rude and uncivilized 
people. The Indians having for a long time no intercourfe with the reft of 
the world, and feldom one nation of them with another, their rites and 
cuftoms are in feveral refpects different. But as they agree in efTentials 
through the whole extent of the American world, fuch agreement is ap 
parently owing to tradition, and the ufage of their anceftors, ^before 
they were fubdivided as at prefent. Uniformity cannot be attributed to 

Through the whole continent, and in the remoteft woods, are traces of 
their ancient warlike difpofuion. We frequently met with great mounds of 
earth, either of a circular, or oblong form, having a ftrong breaft-work at a 
diftance around them, made of the clay which had been dug up in forming 
the ditch, on the inner fide of the inclofed ground, and thefe were their 
forts of fecurity againft an enemy. Three or four of them, are in fome 
places raifed fo near to each other, as evidently for the garrifon to take any 
enemy that patted between them. They were moftly built in low lands ; 

C c c and 

378 General Obfervations on 

and fome are overfpread with large trees, beyond the reach of Indian tra 
dition. About 12 miles from the upper northern parts of the Choktah 
country, there (land on a level trad of land, the north-fide of a creek, 
and within arrow-mot of .it, two oblong mounds of earth, which were old 
garrifons, in an equal direction with each other, and about two arrow-mots 
apart. A broad deep ditch inclofed thofe two fortrefles, and there they 
raifed an high bread-work, to fecure their houfes from the invading enemy. 
This was a ftupendous piece of work, for fo fmall a number of favages, 
as could fupport themfelves in it ; their working inftruments being only 
of (lone and wood. They called thofe old fortreffes Nanne Tah^ " the- 
hills, or mounts of God." 

Probably, different parties, and even nations, were formed at firft, either 
by caprice, differences, or the fear of punifament for offences. The 
demon of perfecution however was never among them not an individual 
durft ever prefume to infringe on another's liberties. They are all 
equal the only precedence any gain is by fuperior virtue, oratory, or 
prowefs ; and they efteem themfelves bound to live and die in defence of 
their country. A warrior will accept of no hire for performing virtuous 
and heroic actions; they have exquifite pleafure in purfuing their own 
natural dictates. The head-men reward the worthy with titles of ho 
nour, according to their merit in fpeaking, or the number of enemies 
fcalps they bring home. Their hearts are fully fatisfied, if they have re 
venged crying blood, enobled themfelves by war act'ons, given cheerfulnefs- 
to their mourning country, and fired the breafts of the youth with a fpiric 
of emulation to guard the beloved people from danger, and revenge the 
wrongs of their country. Warriors are to protect all, but not to moleft or 
injure the meaneft. If they attempted it, they would pay dear for their 
folly. The reafon they are more earneft than the reft of mankind,, in 
maintaining that divine law of equal freedom and juftice, I apprehend, is 
the notion imbibed from their (fuppofed) Hebrew anceftors of the divine 
theocracy, and that inexpreflible abhorrence of flavery, which muft have 
taken place after their captivity by the Affyrians, or the Babylonians. 

Every warrior holds his honour, and the love of his country, in fo high 

efteem, that he prefers it to life, and will fulfer the raoft exquifite tortures 

3 rather 

the North American Indians. 379 

rather than renounce it: there is no fuch thing among the Indians as 
defertion in war, becaufe they do not fight like the Swiis for hire, but for 
wreaths of fwan-feathers. If the Englifli acted on that noble principle, or 
were encouraged by an able, public-fpirited miniftry, to cherifli it, Britan 
nia need neither fue, nor pay any of the German princes for protection, or 

The equality among the Indians, and the juft rewards they always con 
fer on merit, are the great and leading the only motives that warm 
their hearts with a ftrong and permanent love to their country. Governed 
by the plain and honeft law of nature, their whole conftitution breathes 
nothing but liberty : and, when there is that equality of condition, man 
ners, and privileges, and a conftant familiarity in fociety, as prevails in 
every Indian nation, and through all our Britifh colonies, there glows 
fuch a chearfulnefs and warmth of courage in each of their breads, as 
cannot be defcribed. It were to be wifhed, that our military and na 
val officers of all ranks, inftead of their ufual harm and imperious beha 
viour, would act the part of mild and good-natured patrons to thofe under 
them : kind, perfuafive language has an irrefiftible force, and never fails to 
overcome the manly and generous heart, and love is ftrong as death. If 
the governed are convinced that their fuperiors have a real affection for 
them, they will efleem it their duty and intereft to ferve them and take 
pleafure in it. The late gallant Lord Howe, General Wolfe, and Ad 
miral Warren, arc ftill alive in the grateful hearts of the Americans, and 
alfo of the foldiers and feamen, who fought under them. No fervice 
was too difficult to oblige them, and they were afhamed to do any 
thing amifs. If every Britifh officer fet the like example, there would be 
little occafion for new mutiny acts, and other fuch like penal regulations. 
We have frequent inftances in America, that merely by the power of affa 
bility, and good-natured language, the favage Indian, drunk and foaming 
with rage and madnefs, can be overcome and brought to weep. Lately, 
fome came among us, inflamed and diftracted foes ; we perfuaded them of 
our confrant kindly intentions, and they repented, made atonement in re 
gard to themfelves, and checked the mad conduct of others. 

The Indians are not fond of waging war with each other, unlefs 
prompted by fome of the traders : when left to themfelves, they confider 

C c c * with 

380 General Obfervations on 

with the greateft exactnefs and foreiight, all the attending circumftances of 
war. Should any of the young warriors through forwardnefs, or pafTion, 
violate the treaty of peace, the aggrefiing party ufually fend by fome neutral 
Indians, a friendly embafly to the other, praying them to accept of equal 
retribution, and to continue their friendfhip, alluring them that the ram 
unfriendly action did not meet with the approbation, but was highly con 
demned by the head-men of the whole nation. If the propofal be accepted, 
the damage is made up, either by facrificing one of the aggreffors, of a weak 
family, or by the death of fome unfortunate captive, who had been ingrafted 
in a wafted tribe. If a perfon of note was killed, the offended party take im 
mediate fatisfaftion of their own accord, and fend back the like embafiy, 
acquainting them, that as crying blood is quenched with equal blood, and 
their beloved relation's fpirit is allowed to go to reft, they are fond of con 
tinuing the friend-knot, and keeping the chain of friendlhip clear of ruft,. 
according to the old beloved fpecch : but, if they are determined for war, 
they fay Mattle^ Mattle^ " it is finiihed, they are weighed, and found, 
light." In that cafe, they proceed in the following manner. 

A war captain announces his intention of going to invade the common ene 
my, which he, by confent of the whole nation, declares to be fuch : jie then 
beats a drum three times round his winter houfe, with the bloody colours 
flying, marked with large ftrokes of black, the grand war fignal of blood 
and death. On this, a fufficient number of. warriors and others, com 
monly of the family of the murdered perfon, immediately arm themfelves, 
and each gets a fmall bag of parched corn-flour, for his war^ftores. They 
then goto the aforefaid winter houfe, and there drink a warm decoction 
of their fuppofed holy confecrated herbs and roots for three days and 
nights, fcmetimes without any other refreshment. This is to induce 
the deity to guard and profper them, amidft their impending dangers. 
In the moft promifing appearance of things, they are not to take the 
leaft nourifliment of food, nor fo much as to fit down, during that time 
of fanclifying themfelves, till after funfet. While on their expedition, 
they are not allowed to lean themfelves againft a tree, though they may be 
exceedingly fatigued, after a fharp day's march ; nor muft they lie by, a 
whole day to refrefh themfelves, or kill and barbicue deer and bear for their 
war journey.. The more virtuous they are, they reckon the greater will be 
their fuccefs againft the enemy, by the bountiful fmiles of the deity. To 
3 gain 

the North American Indians. 381 

gain that favourite point, fome of the aged warriors narrowly watch the 
young men who are newly initiated, left they fhould prove irreligious, 
and prophane the holy faft, and bring misfortunes on the out-ftanding 
camp. A gentleman of my acquaintance, in his youthful days obferved 
one of their religious fafts, but under the greateft fufpicion of his virtue, 
in this refpecl:, though he had often headed them againft the common 
enemy : during their three days purification, he was not allowed to go out 
of the fancYified ground, without a trufty guard,, left hunger mould have, 
tempted him to violate their old martial law, and by that means have 
raifed the burning wrath of the holy fire againft the whole camp. Other 
particulars of this facred procefs for war, have been related in their proper 
place. * 

When they have finifhed their faft and purifications, they fet off, at the; 
fixed time,, be it fair or foul, firing their guns, whooping, and halloo 
ing, as they march. The war-leader goes firft, carrying the fuppofed holy/ 
ark : he foon ftrikes up the awful and folemn fong before mentioned, which 
they never fing except on that occafion. The reft follow, in one line, 
at the diftance of three or four fteps from each other, now and then found 
ing the war whoo-whoop, to make the leader's fong the more ftriking to the 
people. In this manner they proceed, till quite out of the fight, and hear 
ing of their friends. As foon as they enter the woods, all are filenr ; and,, 
every day they obferve a profound filence in their march, that their ears 
may be quick to inform them of danger : their fmall black eyes are almoft 
as iharp alfo as thofe of the eagle, or the lynx ; and with their feet they re- 
femble the wild cat, or the cunning panther, crawling up to its prey.. 
Thus they proceed, while things promife them good fuccefs; but, if. 
their dreams portend any ill, they always obey the fuppofed divine, 
intimation and return home, without incurring the lead cenfure. They, 
reckon that their readinefs to ferve their country, mould not be fubfervienc. 
to their own knowledge or wimes, but always regulated by the divine im- 
pulfe. I have known a whole company who fet out for war, to return in. 
fmall parties, and fometimes by fingle perfons, and be applauded by the 
united voice of the people ; becaufe they afted in obedience to their Nana 
I/htohoollO) " or guardian angels," who imprefiedthem in the vifions of night, 
with the friendly caution. As their dreams are reckoned ominous, fo there: 
is a fmall uncommon bird, called the " kind ill meffenger," which they 

* Vide p. 145 &c., 


382 General Obfervations on 

always deem to be a true oracle of bad news. If it fmgs near to them, 
they are much intimidated : but, if it perches, and fings over the war- 
camp, they fpeedily break up. This fuperfticious cuftom prevailed with 
the early heathens, who pretended to prophefy by the flight of birds, and it 
reached even down to the time of the Romans. 

Every war captain chufes a noted warrior, to attend on him and the 
company. He is called Etiffu, or " the waiter." Every thing they eat or 
drink during their journey, he gives them out of his hand, by a rigid ab- 
ftemious rule though each carries on his back all his travelling convenien- 
cies, wrapt in a deer {kin, yet they are fo bigoted to their religious 
cuftoms in war, that none, though prompted by fharp hunger t or burning 
thirft, dares relieve himfelf. They are contented with fuch trifling allow 
ance as the religious waiter diftributes to them, even with a fcanty hand. 
Such a regimen would be too mortifying to any of the white people, lee 
their opinion of its violation be ever fo dangerous. 

When I roved the woods in a war party with the Indians, though I car 
ried no fcrip, nor bottle, nor ftaff, I kept a large hollow cane well corked 
at each end, and ufed to fheer off" now and then to drink, while they fuf- 
fered greatly by thirft. The conftancy of the favages in mortifying their 
bodies, to gain the divine favour, is aftonifhing, from the very time they 
beat to arms, till they return from their campaign. All the while they 
are out, they are prohibited by ancient cuftom, the leaning againft a tree, 
either fitting or {landing : nor are they allowed to fit in the day-time, under 
the (hade of trees, if it can be avoided ; nor on the ground, during the 
whole journey, but on fuch rocks, ftones, or fallen wood, as their ark of 
war refts upon. By the attention they invariably pay to thofe fevere rules 
of living, they weaken themfelves much more than by the unavoidable fa 
tigues of war : but, it is fruitlefs to endeavour to difluade them from thofe 
things which they have by tradition, as the appointed means to move 
the deity, to grant them fuccefs againft the enemy, and a fafe return 

It may be expected I fhould defcribe the number of men their war compa 
nies confift of, but it is various, and uncertain : Ibmetimes, two or three onl^~ 
will go to war, proceed as cautioufly, and ftrike their prey as panthers. In 


the North American Indians. 383 

the year 17475 a couple of the Mohawk Indians came againft th; lower 
towns of the Cheerake, and fo cunningly ambufcaded them through moft 
part of the fpring and fummer, as to kill above twenty in different 
attacks, before they were difcovered by any party of the enraged and 
dejected people* They had a thorough knowledge of the moft convenient 
ground for their purpofe, and were extremely fwift and long winded when 
ever they killed any, and got the fcalp, they made off to the neighbouring 
mountains, and ran over the broad ledges of rocks, in contrary courfes, as 
occafion offered, fo as the purfuers could by no means trace them. Once, 
when a large company was in chace of them, they ran round a fteep hill at 
the head of the main eaftern branch of Savana river, intercepted, killed,, 
and fcalped the hindmoft of the party, and then made off between them 
and Keeowhee: as this was the town to which the company belonged, 
they haftened home in a clofe body, as the proper place of fecurity from 
fuch enemy wizards. In this manner, did thofe two fprightly gallant fa- 
vages perplex and intimidate their foes for the fpace of four moons, in the 
greateft fecurity , though they often were forced to kill and barbicue what 
they chiefly lived upon, in the midft of their watchful enemies. Having 
fufficiently revenged their relations' blood, and gratified their own ambition 
with an uncommon number of fcalps, they refolved to captivate one, and 
run home with him, as a proof of their having killed none but the ene 
mies of their country. Accordingly, they approached very near to Keeo 
whee, about half-a-mile below the late Fort Prince George, advancing 
with the ufual caution on fuch an occafion one crawled along under 
the bed cover of the place,, about the diftance of an hundred yards a-head, 
while the other fhifted from tree to tree, looking fharply every way. In 
the evening, however, an old beloved man difcovered them from the top 
of an adjoining hill, and knew them to be enemies, by the cut of their hair, 
light trim for running, and their poftures ; he returned to the town, and 
called firft at the houfe of one of our traders, and informed him of the 
affair, enjoining him not to mention it to any, left the people fhould fee 
ofF againft them without fuccefs, before their tracks were to be difco* 
vered, and he be charged with having deceived them.. But, contrary to 
the true policy of traders among unforgiving favages, that thoughtlefs 
member of the Choktah Sphynx-company bufied himfelf as ufual- out of 
his proper fphere, fent for the head-men, and told them the ftory. As 
the Mohawks were our allies, and not known to moleft any of the traders 


384 General Obfervations on 

in the paths and woods, he ought to have obferved a ftrict neutrality. 
The youth of the town, by order of their head-men, carried on their 
noify public diverfions in their ufual manner, to prevent their foes from 
having any fufpicion of their danger, while runners were fent from the 
town to their neighbours, to come filently and aflift them to fecure the 
prey, in its ftate of fecurity. They came like filent ghofts, concerted their 
plan of operation, paffed over the river at the old trading ford, oppofite to 
the late Fort, which lay between two contiguous commanding hills, and 
proceeding downward over a broad creek, formed a large femi-circle from 
the river bank, while the town feemed to be taking its ufual reft. They 
then clofed into a narrower compafs, and at laft difcovered the two brave 
unfortunate men lying clofe under the tops of fome fallen young pine- 
trees. The company gave the war fignal, and the Mohawks bounding up, 
bravely repeated it : but, by their fudden fpring from under thick cover, 
their arms were ufelefs ; they made defperate efforts however to kill 
or be killed, as their fituation required. One of the Cheerake, the 
noted half breed of Iftanare town, which lay two miles from thence, 
was at the firft onfet, knocked down and almoft killed with his own 
cutlafs, which was wrefted from him, though he was the ftrongeft of the 
whole nation. But they were overpowered by numbers, captivated, and 
put to the moft exquifite tortures of fire, amid ft a prodigious crowd of 
exulting foes. 

One of the prefent Choktah traders who was on the fpot, told me, that 
when they were tied to the ftake, the younger of the two difcovering our 
traders on a hill pretty near, addrefled them in Englifh, and entreated them 
to redeem their lives. The elder immediately fpoke to him, in his own lan 
guage, to defift on this, he recollected himfelf, and became compofed like 
a ftoic, manifefting an indifference^o life or death, pleafure or pain, accord 
ing to their ftandard of martial virtue ; and their dying behaviour did not 
reflect the leaft dishonour on their former gallant actions. All the pangs of 
fiery torture ferved only to refine their manly fpirits : and as it was out of the 
power of the traders to redeem them, they according to our ufual cuftom 
retired, as foon as the Indians began the diabolical tragedy. 

The common number of an Indian v/ar company, is only from twenty 
to forty, left rheir tracks (hould be difcovered by being too numerous : 


the North American Indians. 385 

but if the warring nations are contiguous to each other, the invading party 
generally chufes to out-number a common company, that they may ftrike 
the blow with greater fafety and fuccefs, as their art of war is chiefly kil 
ling by furprife ; confident that in cafe of a difappointment, their light 
heels will enfure their return to their own country. When a fmall 
company go to war, they always chufe to have a fwamp along fide of 
them, with a thick covert for their fhelter, becaufe a fuperior num 
ber will fcarcely purfue them where they might reafonably expeft to 
lofe any of their warriors. When they arrive at the enemies hunting 
ground, they aft with the greateft caution and policy. They feparate them- 
felves, as far as each can hear the other's travelling fignal, which is the 
mimicking fuch birds and beafts as frequent the fpot. And they can ex 
actly imitate the voice and found of every quadruped and wild fowl 
through the American woods. In this way of travelling, they ufually keep 
an hundred yards apart on the courfe agreed upon at camp. When the 
leader thinks it the fureft way of fucceeding againfl the enemy, he fends 
a few of the beft runners to form an ambufcade near their towns : there, they 
fometimes fix the broad hoofs of buffalos, and bear's paws upon their feet, to 
delude the enemy : and they will for miles together, make all the windings 
of thefe beafts with the greateft art. But, as both parties are extremely 
wary and fagacious, I have known fuch arts to prove fatal to the delu- 
ders. At other times, a numerous company will walk in three different 
rows, by way of a decoy, every one lifting his feet fo high, as not to beat 
down the grafs or herbage ; and each row will make only one man's 
track, by taking the Heps of him who went before, and a gigantic fellow 
takes the rear of each rank, and thereby fmooths the tracks with his feet. 
When they are convinced the enemy is in purfuit of them, at fo confiderable 
a distance from the country, as for themfelves not to be over-powered by 
numbers, they poft themfelves in the moft convenient place, in the form of an 
half-moon, and patiently wait a whole day and night, till the enemy 
runs into it , and in fuch a cafe, the victory at one broad-fide is ufually 

When they difcover the tracks of enemies in their hunting ground, 
-or in the remote woods, it is furprifing to fee the caution and art they 
ufe, both to fecure themfelves, and take advantage of the enemy. 
If a fmall company be out at war, they in the day time crawl through 

D d d thickets 

3 86 General 0-bfervations on. 

thickets and fwamps in the manner of wolves now and then they climb 
trees, and run to the top of hills, to- difcover the fmoke of fire, or hear the 
report of guns : and when they crofs through the open woods, one of them 
ftands behind a tree, till the reft advance about a hundred yards, looking out 
iharply on all quarters. In this manner, they will proceed, and on tiptoe,, 
peeping every where around 5, they love to walk on trees which have been^ 
blown down, and take an oblique courfe, till they infwamp themfelves 
again, in order to conceal their tracks, and avoid a purfuit. As we can gain 
nothing by blows,, with fuch warriors,, it is certainly our intereft, as a trading 
people, to ufe proper meafures to conciliate their affections ; for whether we: 
are conquerors, or conquered, we are always great lofers in an Indian war. 

When, the invaders extend themfelves crofs the woods, in queft of their 
prey, if they make a plain difcovery, either of frelh tracks, or of the 
enemy, they immediately pafs the war-fignal to each other, and draw 
their wings toward the centre. If the former, they give chaee, and com 
monly by their wild-cat-method of crawling, they furround,. and furprife 
the purfued, if unguarded however, I have known them to fail in fuch 
attempts ; for the Indians generally are fo extremely cautious, that if three 
of them are in the woods, their firft object is a proper place for defence, 
and they always fit down in a triangle, to prevent a furprife. When enemies 
difcover one another, and find they can take no advantage, they make them- 
ielves known to each other; and by way of infulting bravado, they fpeak aloud, 
all the barbarities they ever committed againft them; that they are now, 
to vindicate thofe actions, and make the wound for ever incurable , that 
they are their moft- bitter enemies, and equally, contemn their friendfhip 
and enmity. In the mean while, they throw down their packs, ftrip them 
felves naked, and paint their faces and breads red as blood, intermingled 
with black ftreaks. Every one at the fignal of the mrill-founding war-cry, 
inftantly covers himfelf behind a tree or in fome cavity of the ground where 
it admits of the beft fafety. The lea'der, on each fide, immediately blows, 
the fmall whiftle he carries for the occafion, in imitation of the ancient 
trumpet, as the laft fignal of engagement. Now hot work begins ^ 
The guns are firing -, the chewed bullets flying ; the ftrong hiccory bows 
a twanging ; the dangerous barbed arrows whizzing as they fly ; the fure- 
fliafted javelin ftriking death wherever it reaches; and the well-aimed to- 
mohawk killing, or difabling its enemy. Nothing fcarcely can be heard 


the North American Indians. 387 

for the fhrill echoing noife of the war and death-whoop, every one fu- 
rioufly purfues his adverfary from tree to tree, ftriving to incircle him 
for his prey , and the greedy jaws of pale death are open on all fides, to 
fwallow them up. One dying foe is intangled in the hateful and fal 
tering arms of another : and each party defperately attempts both to fave 
their dead and wounded from being fcalped, and to gain the fcalps of 
their opponents. On this the battle commences anew But rafti attempts 
fail, as their wary fpirits always forbid them from entering into a gene 
ral clofe engagement. Now they retreat : then they draw up into various 
figures, ftill having their dead and wounded under their eye. Now they 
are flat on the ground loading their pieces then they are up firing behind 
trees, and immediately fpring off in an oblique courfe to recruit and thus 
they act till winged victory declares itielf. 

The vanquimed party makes for a fwampy thicket, as their only afy- 
lum : but mould any of them be either unarmed, or {lightly wounded, 
the fpeedy purfuers captivate them, and ufually referve them for a worfe 
death than that of the bullet. On returning to the place of battle, the 
victors begin, with mad rapture, to cut and flam thofe unfortunate perfons, 
who fell by their arms and power ; and they difmember them, after a mofl 
inhuman manner. If the battle be gained near home, one hero cuts off and 
carries this member of the dead perfon, another that, as joyful trophies of a 
decifive victory. If a flranger faw them thus loaded with human flefh, with 
out proper information, he might conclude them to be voracious canibals, 
according to the fhameful accounts of our Spanifh hiftorians. Their firft 
aim however is to take off the fcalp, when they perceive the enemy hath 
a proper fituation, and ftrength to make a dangerous refiftance. Each 
of them is fo emulous of exceeding another in this point of honour, that 
it frequently flops them in their purfuit. 

This honourable fervice is thus performed They feize the head of the 
difabled, or dead perfon, and placing one of their feet on the neck, 
they with one hand twifted in the hair, extend it as far as they can 
with the other hand, the barbarous artifts fpeedily draw their Jong Iharp- 
pointed fcalping knife out of a (heath from their breaft, give a flam round 
the top of the fkull, and with a few dexterous fcoops, foon flrip it off. 

D d d 2 They 

388 General Observations on 

They are fo expeditious as to take off a fcalp in two minutes. When 
they have performed this part of their martial virtue, as foon as time per 
mits, they tie with bark or deer's finews, their fpeaking trophies of blood in 
a fmall hoop, to preferve it from putrefaction, and paint the interior part 
of the fcalp, and the hoop, all round with red, their flourifhing emblematical 
colour of blood. 

They are now fatiated for the prefent, and return home. Tradition, 
or the native divine impreffion on human nature, dictates to them 
that man was not born in a ftate of war ; and as they reckon they are 
become impure by fhedding human blood, they haften to obferve the faft 
of three days, as formerly mentioned, and be fanctified by the war-chief 
tain, as a prieft of war, according to law. While they are thus impure, 
though they had a fair opportunity of annoying the common enemy 
again, yet on this account they commonly decline it, and are applauded 
for their religious conduct, by all their countrymen. Indeed, formerly, 
when the whole combined power of the French, and their Indians, 
was bent againft the warlike Chikkafah, I have known the laft fometimes 
to hazard their martial virtue and fuccefs, and to fight three or four com 
panies of French Indians, before they returned home; but the leaders 
excufed themfelves, by the neceffity of felf-defence. They have no fuch 
phrafe as the " fortune of war." They reckon the leader's impurity to 
be the chief occafion of bad fuccefs -, and if he lofe feveral of his war 
riors by the enemy, his life is either in danger for the fuppofed fault, or he 
is degraded, by taking from him his drum, war-whiftle, and martial titles, 
and debafmg him to his boy's name, from which he is to rife by a frefh 
gradation. This penal law contributes, in a good meafure, to make them 
fo exceedingly cautious and averfe to bold attempts in war, and they are 
ufually fatisfied with two or three fcalps and a prifoner. 

It has been long too feelingly known, that inftead of obferving the ge 
nerous and hofpitable part of the laws of war, and faving the unfortunate 
who fall into their power, that they generally devote their captives to death, 
with the moft agonizing tortures. No reprefentation can poffibly be 
given, fo mocking to humanity, as their unmerciful method of tormenting 
their devoted prifoner j and as it is fo contrary to the ftandard of the reft of 
5 the 

the North American' Indians. 389 

the known world, I fhall relate the circumftances, fo far as to convey proper 
information thereof to the reader. When the company return from war, 
and come in view of their own town, they follow the leader one by one, in 
a direct line, each a few yards behind the other, to magnify their triumph. 
If they have not fucceeded, or any of their warriors are loft, they return quite 
filent ; but if they are all fafe, and have fucceeded, they fire off the Indian 
platoon, by one, two, and three at a time, whooping and infulting their 
prifoners. They camp near their town all night, in a large fquare plot of 
ground, marked for the purpofe, with a high war-pole fixed in the middle of 
it, to which they fecure their prifoners. Next day they go to the leader's houfe 
in a very folemn procefllon, but ftay without, round his red-painted war- 
pole, till they have determined concerning the fate of their prifoners. If any 
one of the captives mould be fortunate enough to get loofe, and run into the 
houfe of the archi-magus, or to a town of refuge, he by ancient cuftom, is 
faved from the fiery torture thefe places being a fure afylum to them if 
they were invaded, and taken, but not to invaders, becaufe they came to 
Ihed blood. 

Thofe captives who are pretty far advanced in life, as well as in war-gra 
dations, always atone for the blood they fpilt, by the tortures of fire. 
They readily know the latter, by the blue marks over their breafts and 
arms ; they being as legible as our alphabetical characters are to us. Their 
ink is made of the foot of pitch-pine, which flicks to the infide of a 
greafed earthen pot ; then delineating the parts, like the ancient Picls of 
Britain, with their wild hieroglyphics, they break through the fkin with 
gair-fim-teeth, and rub over them that dark compofition, to regifter them 
among the brave , and the imprefiion is lading. I have been told by the 
Chikkafah, that they formerly crazed any falfe marks their warriors proudly 
and privately gave themfelves in order to engage them to give real proofs 
cf their martial virtue, being furrounded by the French and their red allies ; 
and that they degraded them in a public manner, by ftretching the marked 
parts, and rubbing them with the juice of green corn, which in a great 
degree took out the imprefiion. 

The young prifoners are faved, if not devoted while the company were 
fanclifying themfelves for their expedition j but if the latter be the cafe, 


'General Obfervaiions on 

they are condemned, and tied to the dreadful ftake, one at a time. The 
victors firft (trip their miferable captives quite naked, and put on 
their feet a pair of bear-fkin maccafeenes, with the black hairy part 
outwards -, others faften with a grape-vine, a burning fire-brand to the pole, 
a little above the reach of their heads. Then they know their doom deep 
black, and burning fire, are fixed ;feals of their death-warrant. Their puniih- 
ment is always left to the women , and on account of their falfe ftandard of 
education, they are no way backward in their office, but perform it to the 
entire fatisfaction of the greedy eyes of the fpectators. Each of them pre 
pares for the- dreadful rejoicing, a long bundle of dry canes, or the heart of 
fat pitch-pine, and as the victims are led to the ftake, the women and their 
^young ones beat them with thefe in a mod barbarous manner. Happy 
would i[ be for the miferable creatures, if their fufferings ended here, or a 
merciful tomohawk finifhed them at one ftroke ; but this fhameful treat 
ment is a prelude to future fufferings. 

The death-Fignal being given, preparations are made for acting a more 
tragical part. The victims arms are fall pinioned, and a ftrong grape-vine 
is tied round his neck, to the top of the war-pole, allowing him to track 
around, about fifteen yards. They fix fome tough clay on his head, to fe- 
cure the fcalp from the blazing torches. Unfpeakable pleafure now fills 
the exulting crowd of fpectators, and the circle fills with the Amazon and 
mercilefs executioners The fuffering warrior however is not difmayed ; 
with an infulting manly voice he fings the war-fong ! and with gallant con 
tempt he tramples the rattling gourd with pebbles in it to pieces, and 
outbraves .even death itfelf. The women make a furious on-let with their 
^burning torches : his pain is foon fo excruciating, that he rufhes out from 
the pole, with the fury of the moft favage bead of prey, and with the vine 
iweeps down all before him, kicking, biting, and trampling them,, with 
the greateft defpite. The circle immediately fills again, either with the 
fame, or freih perfons : they attack him on' every fide now he runs to the 
.pole for flicker, but the flames purfue him. Then with champing teeth, 
and fparkling eye-balls, he breaks through their contracted circle afrefh, 
and acts every part, that the higheft courage, moft raging fury, and blacked 
defpair can prompt him to. But he is fure to be over-power'd by numbers, 
.and after fome time the fire affects his tender parts. Then they pour 
ovjer him a quantity of cold water, and allow him a proper time of refpice, 
7 till 

the North American Indians. 


tilT his fpirits recover, and he is capable of differing new tortures. Then 
the like cruelties are repeated till he falls down, and happily becomes in- 
fenfible of pain. Now they fcalp him, in the manner before defcribed : 
difmember, and carry off all the exterior branches of the body, (pudendis 
Bon exceptis) in (hameful, and favage triumph. This is the moft favour 
able treatment their devoted captives receive: it would be too ihocking 
to humanity either to give, or perufe, every particular of their conduct 
in fuch doleful tragedies nothing can equal thcfe fcene-s, but thofe of the 
merciful Romim inquifition. 

Not a foul, of whatever age or fex, manifefts the lead pity during the 
prifoner's tortures : the women fing with religious joy, all the while they 
are torturing the devoted victim, and peals of laughter refound through 
the crowded theatre efpecially if he fears to die. But a warrior puts on 
a bold auflere countenance, and carries it through all his pains: as long, 
as he can, he whoops and out-braves the enemy, defcribing his'Own martiah 
deeds againft them, and thofe of his nation, who he threatens will force 
many of them to eat fire in revenge of his fate, as he himfelf had often i 
done to fome of their relations at their coft,. 

Though the fame things operate alike upon the organs of the human 
body, and produce an uniformity of fenfations ; yet weaknefs,.or conftancyv 
of mind derived from habit, helps in a great mcafure, either to heighten,, 
or leffcn the fenfe of pain. By this, the afflicted party has learned to ftifle 
nature, and mew. an outward unconcern, under fuch flow- and- acute tor 
tures: and- the furprifing cruelty of their, women, is equally owing to- 
education and cuftom. Similar inftances verify this, as in Lifbon, and other 
places,, where tender-hearted ladies are transformed by their bloody priefts,, 
into fo many Medeas, through deluded religious principles-, and fit 
and fee with the higheft joy, the martyrs of God, drawn along in dia* 
bolical triumph to the fiery, flake, and fuffcring death with lingering tor-- 

I cannot forbear giving another inftance or two here of the conftaney, 
vifible unconcern, and prefence of mind, of the Indians, at the approach 
of death, in its moft alarming drefs and terrors,. 


Genera! Obfervations on 

About four years before the Shawano Indians were forced to remove 
from the late Savanah town, they took a Mufkohge warrior, known by the 
name of " Old Scrany ;" they baflinadoed him in the ufual manner, and 
condemned him to the fiery torture. He underwent a great deal, without 
(Viewing any concern ; his countenance and behaviour were as if he fuffcred 
not the leaft pain, and was formed beyond the common laws of nature. 
He told them, with a bold voice, that he was a very noted warrior, and 
gained moft of his martial preferment at the expence of their nation, and 
was defirous of mewing them in the aft of dying, that he was Hill as 
much their fuperior, as when he headed his gallant countrymen againft 
them. That although he had fallen into their hands, in forfeiting the 
protection of the divine power, by fome impurity or other, when car 
rying the holy ark of war againft his devoted enemies ; yet he had ftill fo 
much remaining virtue, as would enable him to punim himfelf more ex- 
quifitely than all their defpicable ignorant crowd could poflibly do, if they 
gave him liberty by untying him, and would hand to him one of the red hot 
gun-barrels out of the fire. The propofal, and his method of addrefs, ap 
peared fo exceedingly bold and uncommon, that his requeft was granted. 
Then he fuddenly feized one end of the red barrel, and brandifhing it from 
fide to fide, he forced his way through the armed and furprifed multitude, 
and leaped down a prodigious fteep and high bank into a branch of the 
river, dived through it, ran over a fmall ifland, and pafied the other branch, 
amidft a fhower of bullets from the commanding ground where Fort-Moore, 
or New Wind for- garrifon flood ; and though numbers of his eager enemies 
were in clofe purfuit of him, he got to a bramble fwamp, and in that naked, 
mangled condition, reached his own country. He proved a fharp thorn in 
their fide afterwards to the day of his death. 

The Shawano alfo captivated a warrior of the Anantooeah, and put him 
to the ftake, according to their ufual cruel folemnities. Having uncon 
cernedly fuffered much fharp torture, he told them with fcorn, they did 
not know how to punim a noted enemy, therefore he was willing to teach 
them, and would confirm the truth of his afiertion, if they allowed him 
the opportunity. Accordingly he requefted of them a pipe and fome to 
bacco, which was given him : as foon as he lighted it, he fat down, 
naked as he was, on the women's burning torches, that were within his 
ircle, and continued fmoking his pipe without the leaft difcompofure on 


the North American Indians. 393 

this a head-warrior leaped up, and faid, they had feen plain enough, that 
he was a warrior, and not afraid of dying , nor mould he have died, only 
that he was both fpoiled by the fire, and devoted to it by their laws : how 
ever, though he was a very dangerous enemy* and his nation a treache 
rous people, it fhould appear they paid a regard to bravery, even iri 
one, who was marked over the body with war ftreaks, at the coft of 
many lives of their beloved kindred. And then by way of favour, he, 
with his friendly tomohawk, inftantly put an end to all his pains : though 
the merciful but bloody inftrument was ready fome minutes before it gave 
the blow, yet I was allured, the fpectators could not perceive the fufferer 
to change, either his pofture, or his fteady erect countenance, in the 

A party of the Senekah Indians came to war againft the Katahba, bitter 
enemies to each other. In the woods, the former difcovered a fprightly 
warrior belonging to the latter, hunting in their ufual light drefs ; on his 
perceiving them, he fprung off for a hollow rock, four of five miles 
diftant, as they intercepted him from running homeward. He was fo 
extremely fwift, and ikilful with the gun, as to kill feven of them in 
the running fight, before they were able to furround and take him. They 
carried him to their country in fad triumph : but, though he had filled 
them with uncommon grief and Ihame, for the lofs of fo many of their 
kindred, yet the love of martial virtue induced them to treat him, during 
their long journey, with a great deal more civility, than if he had acted 
the part of a coward. The women and children, when they met him at their 
feveral towns, beat and whipped him in as fevere a manner as the occafion 
required, according to their law of juftice, and at laft he was formally con 
demned to die by the fiery tortures. It might reafonably be imagined that 
what he had for fome time gone through, by being fed with a foamy 
hand, a tedious march, lying at night on the bare ground, expofed 
to the changes of the weather, with his arms and legs extended in a 
pair of rough (locks, and fuffering fuch punimments on his entering into 
their hoftile towns, as a prelude to thofe (harp torments for which he 
was deftined, would have fo impaired his health, and^arTected his imagina 
tion, as to have fent him to his long fleep out of the way of any mqre fuf- 
ferings. Probably, this would have been the cafe with the major part of 
-white people, under fimilar circumftances ; but I never knew this with any 

Ee e of 

General ObJervatioKs on 

of the Indians : and this cool-headed brave warrior did not deviate froin 
their rough leflbns of martial virtue, but acted his part fo well, as to fur- 
prife and forely vex his numerous enemies. For, when they were taking 
him unpinioned, in their wild parade, to the place of torture, which 
Jay near to a river, he fuddenly darned down thofe who flood in his 
way, fprung off, and plunged into the water, fwimming underneath like 
an otter, only rifing to take breath till he made the oppofite fhore. He 
now afcended the fteep bank ; but though he had good reafon to be in a 
hurry, as many of the enemy were in the water, and others running 
every way, like blood-hounds, in purfuit of him, and the bullets flying 
around him, from the time he took to the river, yet his heart did not 
allow him to leave them abruptly, without taking leave in a forma} 
manner, in return for the extraordinary favours they had done, and in 
tended to do him. He firft turned his backfide toward them, and flapped 
it with his hand , then moving round, he put up the fhrill war whoo whoop, 
as his laft falute, till fome more convenient opportunity offered, and darted 
off in the manner of a beaft broke loofe from its torturing enemies. He 
continued his fpeed fo as to run by about midnight of the fame day, as far 
as his eager purfuers were two days in reaching. There he retted, till he 
happily difcovered five of thofe Indians, who had purfued him he lay hid 
a little way off their camp, till they were found aQeep. Every circumftance 
of his fituation occurred to him, and infpired him wkh heroifm. He was 
naked, torn, and hungry, and his enraged enemies were come up with 
him. But there was now every thing to relieve his wants, and a fair 
opportunity to fave his life, and get great honour, and fweet revenge, by 
cutting them off. Refolution, a convenient fpot, and fudden furprize^ 
would effect the main object of all his wifhes and hopes. He accord 
ingly creeped towards them, took one of their tomohawks, and killed them 
all on the fpot. He then chopped them to pieces, in as horrid a manner, 
as favage fury could excite, both through national and perfonal refent- 
ment, he dripped off their fcalps, clothed himfelf, took a choice gun, and. 
as much ammunition and provifions as he could well carry in a running 
march. He fet off afrefli with a light heart, and did not deep for feveraJ 
iucceflive nights, only when he reclined as ufual a little before day, with his 
back to a tree. As it were by inftinct, when he found he was free from 
the purfuing enemy, he made directly to the very place where he had 
killed feven of his enemies, and was taken by them for the fiery torture, 


the North American Indians. 


He digged them up, fcalped them, burned their bodies to aflies, and went 
home in fafety with fingular triumph. Other purfuing enemies came 
on the evening of the fecond day to the camp of their dead people, 
when the fight gave them a greater fhock, than they had ever known be 
fore. In their chilled war council, they concluded, that, as he had done 
fuch furprifing things in his defence, before he was captivated, and fince 
that, in his naked condition, and was now well armed, if they continued 
the purfuit, he would fpoil them all, for he furely was an enemy wizard. 
And therefore they returned home. 

When the Chikkafah were engaged in a former war with the Mufkohge, 
one of their young warriors fet off" alone againft them> to revenge the blood 
of a near relation : his burning heart would not allow him to delay its gratifica 
tion, and proceed with a company, after their ufual forms of purification were 
obferved, in order to gain fuccefs. He was replete with martial fire, and re 
venge prompted him to outrun his war virtue : however, hepurfued as mor 
tifying a regimen, as if he had been publicly fed like a dove, by the fcanty 
hand of a religious waiter. But, as he would not wait a few days, and accom 
pany the reputed holy ark, they reckoned him irreligious, by depending on 
the power of his own arms, inftead of the powerful arm of the fupreme fa 
therly chieftain, To He Wah^ who always beftows viflory on the more virtu 
ous party. He went through the mod unfrequented and thick parts of the 
woods, as fuch a dangerous enterprife required, till he arrived oppofite to 
the great, and old beloved town of refuge, Koofah, which (lands high on 
the eaftern fide of a bold river, about 250 yards broad, that runs by the 
late dangerous Alebahma fort, down to the black poifoning Mobille, and 
fo into the gulph of Mexico. There he concealed himfelf under cover 
of the top of a fallen pine tree, in view of the ford of the old trading path, 
where the enemy now and then paffed the river in their light poplar canoes. 
All his war (lore of provifions confided in three (lands of barbicued venifon, 
till he had an opportunity to revenge blood, and return home. He waited j 
with watchftilneis and patience almoft three days, when a young man, a 
womani and a girl pafled a little wide of him, about an hour before fun- 
fet. The former he mot down, tomohawked the other two, and fcalped 
each of them in a trice, in full view of the town. By way of bravado, 
^e fhaked the fcalps before them, founded the "awful death whoop, and 

E e e 2 fet 

296 General Obfervattons on 

fet off along tfee trading path, trufting to his heels, while a great manjr 
of the enemy ran to their arms, and gave chace. Seven miles from 
thence, he entered the great blue ridge of Apalahche mountains. About 
an hour before day, he had ran over feventy miles of that mountainous 
tract , then, after fleeping two hours in a fitting pofture, leaning his back 
againft a tree, he fet off again with frem fpeed. As he threw away his, 
venifon, when he found himfelf purfued by the enemy, he was obliged to* 
fupport nature with fuch herbs, roots, and nuts, as his fharp eyes with ai 
running glance, directed him to fnatch up in his courfe. Though I ofteh 
have rode that war path alone, when delay might have proved dangerous^ 
and with as fine and ftrong horfes as any in America, it took me five days 
to ride from the af